Food

Lifestyle Journal Entry #2: Fallen Off the Horse – Clean Cooking with Caitlin


September 12th, 2022

Yesterday, I woke up feeling like a bus had hit me. Unsurprised, I planned on Sunday as a recovery day, but that didn’t mean I enjoyed the splitting headache and lack of sleep.

This wasn’t the type of recovery day you likely imagine the “healthy blogger and cook” planning for. “Did you run a marathon!?” you may be thinking. My reply to you is “NOPE!”. I had our belated wedding reception and a substantial amount of drinks.

Nursing a Hangover

I knew I wouldn’t be doing anything on Sunday, and I did just it. I popped some ibuprofen, took BC powder, and drank some electrolytes – my hangover regimen. I know I shouldn’t be taking all of these medications, but I also shouldn’t be binge drinking.

While still feeling tired and my social battery on empty, my husband and I just had a Netflix binge session. Chloe came into the kitchen behind us to eat a snack and we started the movie, “This is 40”. We quickly turned it off until she left because it started like a porno! It is funny to watch a teen’s reaction to adult humor. 🤣 When she left, we finished it and then I coaxed him into watching a psychological cult thriller with me (my favorite… him not so much).

Chloe’s reaction to Rick saying “It’s like I have two wives!” 🤣 She’s second from the right.

A couple hours later, my stomach started to become upset. I took some antacids and waited to see if my mom and sisters would require me to leave the house for a late birthday lunch. As much as I love them, I dreaded leaving the house. Not only was I hung over, but I had worked my a** off for a week getting ready for the wedding reception.

(Cuss words only bleeped out to conform to MSN’s feed requirements. Anyone who knows me knows I have a bit of a potty mouth, and I’m not shy about it.)

Cooking in a Wedding Dress

I decided to make the food for our wedding reception, and as usual, I overdid it. The party was starting and l found it challenging to finish cooking and plate the charcuterie. In a wedding dress (I had to get one more wear out of this expensive dress) and overwhelmed with distractions, I was unable to complete the tasks myself. I imagined I would throw an apron over the wedding dress and just finish the work, but I was quickly thrown into conversation and my mom laughed that I would do such a thing. Thank gosh my mom handled the décor, and for awesome friends and family who swooped in to help with food!

I would have hired someone to cater, but my high standards and budget for food did not quite align. Basic dishes like fried chicken for $35 a plate plus catering service fees.. ummm… NO. Disappointed with my options, I decided to take on the task of cooking for 36 people myself. I created this extensive menu and worked days in advance to prep all of it; but, then didn’t have a chance to pop it all in the oven! Another lesson learned. I have a propensity to go “all out” with anything that I do.

Additionally, a Sterno almost caught fire totally ruining my Kale Gnocci. It was amazing the night before when I prepped it, and now all of its flavor was replaced with smokiness.

This was modified quite a bit and then only half of it made it to the table.

Our Wedding Reception & Birthdays

In spite of the food drama, I think the reception was fun for everyone as evidenced by the p*nis drawn in my alternative guestbook. I also have many pictures to prove it was a good time.

My mom was complimented about the décor and my wedding favors were a hit – some cute flowers in silver pails with a cute tag in them.

Our wedding reception favors.

Everyone was so generous with their gifts and good wishes. It was amazing.. and I’m glad all the prep is over. I love my friends and family, but in addition to all of the stressors I’ve had over this last month (as detailed in my last journal entry), this introvert needs to recharge!

Also, for the last four weekends we’ve been “getting crazy”, including my birthday “party” last weekend – which was totally awesome. Some friends took me to get a pedicure and brunch with bottomless mimosas while the men watched our kids! We took an Uber in anticipation of having drinks. I looked forward to it all week!

Birthday brunch!

Then we came back to my house to hang with everyone. The kids all played and a couple of us had way too much fun dancing with the younger girls. I woke up the next morning with sore calves from holding them upside down and jumping around to the music. 😆 I was also reminded when I woke up that all of us girls decided to throw my laundry at each other and at the walls while drunk!

The next day (my actual birthday), Rick took our family to see SpaceX rocket launch. Since he’s an engineer with Blue Origin, we were able to get right onto a nearby launch pad to watch the launch as close as you can get! He said it was my birthday candle, but I didn’t blow it out – it was a successful launch. The kids can’t stop talking about how they want to go see another.

Two days later, on labor day, we pushed through our exhaustion to attend a friend’s birthday party on a lake and played in the water. 😀

At Denny’s birthday on the lake (this is Erica, one of my good friends. Denny is her boyfriend)

I Had a Panic Attack

So back to my lazy Sunday. While unable to function normally, and dreading the possibility of leaving the house, I contemplated my plan of attack for getting back on track with my health goals. I’ve joked with everyone that we’re already fat and happy post marriage, having gained a few pounds in the last three months. We’ve had an abundance of social events and a lack of running in this brutal heat and our complicated weekly schedules.

Our cake at the wedding reception.

I had already promised myself, post-reception would be the time to get my sh*t back together. I still want to have fun, but I’ve got to limit the drinks.

Well Sunday was not the day. I ate a pork sandwich for breakfast and chips that were left open on the counter. Well, I also had some of the Mediterranean Brussel sprouts I made for the party, and they were quite tasty!

When it became apparent that my sisters also weren’t too interested in getting together for lunch, and I now felt like puking, I turned to my Marijuana prescription for some relief. I took one hit. That was all, and got back to binging my Netflix show.

About 20 minutes later, I started feeling like I couldn’t breathe and my heart started racing. Then the thoughts of intense fear started. Was I about to lose consciousness and start choking again? Like my last journal entry, I will catch you up on this scary incident in the “Let’s Catch Up” section below.

Let’s Catch Up: Waking Up Confused With Paramedics

Rick and I had just gone on a fancy date at one of my favorite restaurants, Luke’s, when we came home to relax and watch a movie. I had just bought some new strains of Marijuana from one of the local medical dispensaries and I was proud of myself for only having one glass of wine with dinner. We were limiting our drinks a lot at that time, and feeling quite good about ourselves.

It was early enough that I knew I could take some Marijuana-infused dark chocolate, and it would still kick in. Upon breaking off a piece, I noticed there wasn’t much left of the bar, so I went ahead and ate all of it at about 8 PM. Very smart.🙄

Confident in my perceived ability to handle more weed, I took a hit or two of my Cherry Skittlz vape. Rick and I watched a movie, and I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary (besides the high, that is).

We fell asleep on the couch, and I woke Rick up around 11 PM to move into bed. I noticed I was very high, but that was all. No pain, no spinning, no queasiness – nothing abnormal. I went back to sleep.

Around 1AM, I became only slightly conscious to Rick on the phone. He seemed worried about something, but the only thought I can recollect is that someone in the family had passed away the day before. I thought it had something to do with that. However, I felt like I might have been dreaming. Again, I wasn’t awake. I returned to no consciousness.

Not much later, I woke to three paramedics standing around me. I heard Rick telling them I had stopped breathing and appeared to have been seizing on the floor. They checked my vitals and all was normal but a little low blood sugar. The paramedics asked if I was a runner. He said yes, and apparently they justified the low blood sugar with that.

Everyone kept trying to get me to sit up. I felt unable to and it gave me a sensation like I was going to puke. I was not right, and I had never felt anything like this before.

The paramedics asked if I would like to go to the emergency room. My mind was a haze, but all I could think was that a ride in an emergency vehicle would be expensive, embarrassing, and maybe I’m just high. They left telling me to “lay off the brownies.”

I wish I had gone to the ER because we never found out what happened. I saw a Neurologist, Endocrinologist, Psychiatrist, Sleep expert, and more. They proved nothing wrong with me.

There were very polar opinions about the marijuana. A few doctors said they don’t know. Maybe it was just a reaction from everything combined – the marijuana, wine, and mental health medications. My psychiatrist adamantly said it was the marijuana, that she sees this all the time. That it could be laced with something; but, I’ve had this exact chocolate before and it comes from a highly regulated dispensary! My therapist says her brother (who is a psychiatrist) prescribes marijuana to his PTSD patients!

I’ve always heard and believed that it doesn’t actually hurt anyone. Well, now I’m not so sure. My hypothesis is that I overloaded my system with my new mental health medication in tandem. After all, there’s so much research that hasn’t been done on Marijuana taken in tandem with some other medications.

Nevertheless, I took about a month off Marijuana after that. I have had no similar incidences since.

I repetitively told myself that I wasn’t going to die. “This is a panic attack. It’s in my head.” I’ve had a few panic attacks before, since I have generalized anxiety disorder. I paced back and forth in the living room doing “grounding exercises” like 5-4-3-2-1: Notice 5 things that you see, 4 you can touch.. and on to the rest of your senses. This is meant to get you out of your head, which makes you spiral into a full blown panic attack.

I tried my best to slow my breathing, but I couldn’t focus on it. If I focused on it, I felt like I couldn’t get enough air. I took an anxiety pill, let Rick hold me on the couch, closed my eyes, and waited it out. I fell asleep. I woke up four hours later and the panic had passed.

Getting Back on Track

I already planned on getting back on track with making healthier decisions after the reception, but the panic attack was “icing on the cake” (bad pun) – it was a big motivator. While I’ve been more lackadaisical about my eating habits lately, the marijuana and drinks are the biggest poor lifestyle culprit. Even if the drinks are just on the weekend, and the marijuana late at night – it still stacks up. Especially, the food decisions made after drinking or smoking.

I could jump on a diet, but if I don’t correct those habits, I won’t be going much of anywhere in the long term! I have to remind myself that losing weight shouldn’t be the most important thing. After all, you can limit your food and drink vodka and lose weight; but clearly, that isn’t the healthy way to go about things. I believe not attending to your health in preference of losing weight and not losing the bad habits will eventually bite you in the butt anyhow.

Sometimes I too have to “coach” myself. If I were to help someone else in my situation, how would I approach this? First, what am I currently doing or lacking that is affecting my health poorly? Why am I doing that and what could I do instead?

Since I am also working on getting pregnant, I’ve known that the weekend drinking and smoking should be addressed first. I’m the type to struggle with these things much more than food. While I’m far from an alcoholic (mostly imbibing on weekends only with a day during the week every now and then) – alcoholism runs in my family.

I think whatever causes alcoholism in families, I may have to a much smaller degree. I crave it to soothe my anxiety and make life less boring, but I’ve also proven to myself that I can put it down or reduce it significantly. I also don’t hurt anyone or end up wandering the streets confused or anything like that. However, I’m definitely aiming for much better! I’ve got to be a better role model to you and to my kids, after all!

I’m still contemplating what my goals are regarding reducing those lifestyle habits. What I do know, is I don’t want to touch either of them right now after that panic attack!

Regarding diet and exercise, as mentioned in my last entry, running has been hard in this brutal Florida heat with our complicated parenting schedules. Losing stubborn weight tends to be harder for me when I’m in a training season. So my plan is to try and lose some weight with adjusting my macros and portion control until the weather cools down a bit. I generally follow what I teach others in this article: My MAGIC FORMULA for Weight Loss. This will really help me get ready for the next running season as well.

Hot Yoga at Warrior One

Meanwhile, I am focusing more on strength training and getting back into some yoga! I was on Cloud 9 the other day getting out of a strenuous hot yoga session and working on my passion (this blog) from this quirky coffee shop, Stardust, in downtown Orlando. I plan to do that more.

A lot of my hesitation to lose a little weight again and run strenuously has been due to trying to get pregnant, but I realize I’m being ridiculous. I’ll plan to run another half marathon near December, and if it happens it happens. If it does, I’ll probably walk/run it as much as my body will allow anyway!

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