I feel like I’m drowning. Not physically, but emotionally. First of all, I’m exhausted all the time. That’s not unusual. I’m always tired, but I mean to-the-bone exhausted. I’ve been dozing on-and-off for the past week or so. I’ve been going to bed at weird times and getting up at even weirder times. I will say that the ZonLi cooling weighted blanket has been really beneficial in me getting some solid zzzzzs. It’s not exactly cooling, but it doesn’t make me hot, either. Which is about the most I can hope for with a 15-pound blanket. It’s a comforting weight that is weirdly neutral in hotness. I still can’t seem to wrap my brain around the fact that it is a blanket that is heavy upon me, but it’s not making me sweat. In addition, it’s cut down on the number of times I wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes, I sleep through the whole six hours), which is amazing.
I think part of the reason I’m so exhausted is that I’ve been sleep-deprived my entire life. I’m getting more sleep now (and I think I’m on the edge of a cold, but that’s something completely different) than I have, well, ever, and maybe my body is saying, “Where the fuck was this my whole life?” I know you can’t make up a sleep deficit, but it’s like my body is trying desperately. The reason I think I’m getting sick is because I’m sleeping for eight hours and more, which is unheard of for me. Maybe the blanket is allowing it to happen? If so, it’s the best $50 I’ve ever spent. I’ve done so many things in order to sleep more and better, and none of it has worked. Only taiji has improved my sleep, and that was an indirect consequence that happened over ten years. Two hours in ten years? Not bad. If the blanket pushes me over seven, well, then, I consider it a big fat win.
I am curious to see how it works in the winter when I actually do want a bit of warmth from a blanket. I have a hunch it’ll be fine, but if not, then I can add another blanket. I’m not too worried about it because I don’t need much heat. Oh, I do have to keep my feet poked out at the bottom of the cooling blanket in order for optimum temperature control. It’s worth it, though. I still wear my weighted eye mask (that still falls off sometime during the night) and my earplugs (which fall out, too), and I still jam my head under a pillow. Speaking of, my new pillows are mixed. Or rather, my feelings about my new pillows are mixed. They’re fine, but they’re a bit…floofy? Too plump? I dunno. I’m not in love with them, but they’re fine.
So. Food-wise. I mentioned that I’m trying to cut down on my meat intake for ethical and ecological reasons. Also, friend to animal reasons. Health reasons? Not really, but, sure, why not. One reason I eat a fair amount of meat is because I have so many sensitivities, it’s the one thing I know I can eat without issue if it’s prepared in the proper way. When I go out to eat, it’s easy for me to fill up on meat. Much harder to guess what the vegetables were made in since many times, it’s butter.
To that end, I’ve been trying different plant-based meat substitutes. I mean, first I’m eating a lot of spinach every day as well as baby carrots. Those are my vegetables, and I’m good with it for now. Second, I’ve upped my fruit game, and I’m eating strawberries, blueberries, oranges, and assorted other fruits as I feel like it. I also have a plant-based whipped cream to go with the fruits, and it’s pretty tasty.
Anyway, Ian told me about Beyond Italian Sausages and said that he wouldn’t be able to tell it wasn’t meat if he didn’t already know. I tried it, and he’s right. It tastes exactly like what it is, and I’m amazed. It’s juicy and meaty and spicy, and just one fills me up. The first time I tried it, I had two–which was too much. I tried another brand, Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage, which is good, but it doesn’t taste like meat. It’s very tasty, but I wouldn’t mistake it for meat. Also, and I should have looked at the ingredients before I bought it, but it has vital wheat gluten in it. Sigh. I had stomach issues after eating it, but I thought it was because I ate a ton of pasta, even though it’s GF. I forget that just because something is vegetarian/vegan, it doesn’t mean it’s GF. I have two left, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them. Probably won’t eat them. Will be sticking to the Beyond version in the future. These are tasty, though, and less expensive.
I also tried the Whole Foods brand 365 plant-based burger patties. Spiced ones. It was fine. Juicy and meaty in texture without actually tasting like meat. I don’t mind if something doesn’t taste like meat as long as it tastes good. Unfortunately, it also has vital wheat gluten in it. Sigh. It’s my own damn fault because I got lax in checking the ingredients with online delivery. Just a good reminder to me that I need to be more careful with my buying in the future.
I’m not having any luck with cutting out chips. More to the point. I’m not trying. I want to do it, but at the moment, I’m making enough changes. I have GF pasta and ‘sensitive’ pasta sauce (minus onions and garlic), and it’s pretty easy to make a dish of pasta, even for me. i throw in some cheese substitute into the spaghetti sauce before nuking it. One of my problems with cooking is knowing when to start cooking the individual parts so they’ll all be ready and still warm at roughly the same time. I put a pot of water on the stove and fire that up before I start a pan with a smattering of oil for the ‘sausage’. By the way, even without the spaghetti sauce, it’s a delicious treat because the oil from the sausage is enough to make the noodles fatty and rich. GF pasta tends to be really stiff, so I cook it longer than I would normal pasta. I like my pasta pretty soft, anyway. Then, I nuke the sauce/cheeze in a bowl. When the sausage is ready, I drain off the oil and put the sausage in the sauce bowl. I add spinach at this point, and then the noodles once they’re ready and drained. Oh, I use a dash of salt in the boiling pasta water, and I finish off the dish with a healthy shake of pepper. That’s it, and the whole thing takes maybe ten minutes.
I’m thinking of breaking out the Instapot to use it as a crock pot/slow cooker. I asked Ian about what he used his for (slow cooker), and he said chili. Just throw beans, diced tomatoes/sauce, and whatever else. Corn, fake meat, onions, garlic, whatever. I would skip onions and garlic, but the rest? Aw, hell yeah. That would mean getting over my fear of the Instapot, however, and actually learning how to use it. Which will probably take me at least a month. Or to give myself a push, two weeks.
I have found that the best way for me to deal with, well, life in general is to make one change at a time. Or two. For now, it’s boosting my veggie/fruit intake and cutting down on my meat intake. Also, making pasta every day. I’m fortunate(?) in that I don’t mind eating the same thing every day, which is good for someone who has difficulty with change. It’s partly because it’s very limiting to buy things for someone with my dietary restrictions. It’s doubly difficult because I have to do it online so I can’t pick things out myself. I still want to make it to a co-op in the next week or two, but we’ll see if I actually make it that far.