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I’m a little more than halfway through October Unprocessed. Despite the fact that I feel fantastic, this has gotten to be a genuine challenge, which I didn’t expect. I assumed that it would be really tough at the beginning, and get easier as the month progressed. Instead, the first week was easy, and it’s gotten more and more difficult. Last week, I thought about quitting on a number of occasions. But I’m still at it, because I don’t want to give up on this.
Last week in general was tough. It was fun, but it was also exhausting. I was helping to prepare for (and then participating in) Austin Rocks. Cooking unprocessed food was just another chore to add to my list. Even if I wasn’t cooking that often (I’ve been making large batches of things to eat throughout the week), any cooking was a tiring obligation rather than something fun. I wanted to run across the street to get a sub for dinner rather than make something healthy. I envied my friends at work who got to microwave frozen food at work instead of having to plan their food for the week. And at the competition this weekend, I definitely was jealous of my friends who got to eat wherever and whatever they wanted without having to think about it or plan ahead in case they didn’t have any other options.
But I powered through. I’m still unprocessed. I haven’t caved. And things definitely feel easier this week, now that I’m not running around with almost no free time. I’ve made some inspiring food. This is going to work. And I’m still planning on sticking with this to some extent once the month is up. Not 24/7, but I’m thinking five days a week. Which will keep me mostly unprocessed, but still allow a few delicious indulgences.
What a weekend!
I really shouldn’t be blogging. I should be asleep. But this weekend was excellent, and I need to brag about it.
This past weekend was the inaugural Austin Rocks! event, which is part of The Challenge. The fabulous Taletha Jouzdani (who just so happens to be my instructor), hosted the event. And she did a fantastic job.
Austin Rocks started on Thursday night, with a happy hour at the Hotel Allandale. Unfortunately, our musician got sick at the last minute, but the lovely and talented Denise Hudson came through and saved the day! She gave us a fantastic acoustic set while we relaxed by the pool.
After working on Friday, I had just enough time to tidy up the guest room (I was hosting Houston friends this weekend) and grab dinner before it was time to run to the studio and work the registration desk before hours upon hours of social dancing, with the fabulous Trent Haynes, Ruby Lair, and Cher Peadon serving as our DJs for the night.
I woke up on Saturday morning after too little sleep to work the registration desk again, and then attend a workshop hosted by Barry Jones, as well as one hosted by David Simpson and Sandra Lopez. I learned a lot, and I’m looking forward to applying these new moves into my dancing.
Saturday afternoon meant a trip to the Alamo Drafthouse for a screening of Love ‘n Dancing, a thoroughly horrible movie that we got to watch accompanied by an MST3K-style snark track done by Jody and Jeffy Moscaritolo. Trust me, the film is only worth watching with the snark.
After the film, there was just enough time for a nap before it was time for another happy hour. This one had drinks sponsored by Treaty Oak Rum. I feel weird plugging our sponsors on my ad-free blog, but they need to be acknowledged for being so great to us. Plus, their rum is great. And I also was the one who got us the sponsorship in the first place, so I want to brag a bit about my accomplishment.
Then it was back to the studio for the Jack and Jill competition. There were so many fantastic dancers competing. Congrats to everyone who is moving on to the Challenge finals in December!
The pro show was the highlight of the evening. Each couple danced two songs per usual. But for the all-skate, things got a little crazy. Taletha came up with a bunch of funny ways to make dancing more difficult. Each couple got one of these challenges. The all-skate thus looked a bit like this:
Once the competition was done, it was time for even more social dancing, with more fantastic music and dancers. I had a great time, and was bummed that the night had to end.
Sunday closed out the weekend with the Sunday Funday bus tour of Austin, with some great photo opportunities along the way.
Once the bus tour was done, it was time for social dancing at the Copa. We got a second amazing set by J.J. Usher, plus music by some great local DJs. It was another late night, which made getting up this morning for work less than fun, but it was worth it!
In other news, I’m about to stab Google because they changed the way the Google Photos upload works, so I just lost 57 photos that I spent forever and a half uploading, because I’m tired and wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing. This means it’s time for me to sleep. Someday, I’ll get to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe.
It’s almost the weekend! Which means it’s almost time for the Houston Poetry Fest. I’ve never attended before, so I’m especially excited to check the festival out and see the readings. I’ll only be going for Saturday, unfortunately, because I have things to do in Austin on Sunday, but I do look forward to seeing all of the fantastic poets on the Saturday lineup. Plus, I’m developing a real affinity for Houston, and I like to take any chance I can get to visit. And nothing compares to the feeling of driving down 290 with the top down.
I hope you all have fantastic weekends as well!
So far, October Unprocessed has been relatively easy. There have been a few frustrations here and there, like not being able to order any delicious snacks while watching Breaking Bad at the Alamo Drafthouse. And then I had to explain why I wasn’t eating any of the free Chinese food we got at work on Monday. But the actual eating part has been great. I’m rediscovering my love of cooking and exploring lots of new recipes. I’m eating healthier than I have in a long time.
It’s frustrating to realize just how much space in grocery stores is occupied by things full of artificial chemicals. It’s amazing how many things I like I just can’t have right now. But I also remember how lucky I am. I have privileges that allow me to take this challenge in the first place. I don’t live in a food desert – I have access to lots of fresh produce (which currently comprises the bulk of my meals). I have leisure time on weekends to bake bread from scratch. I have a car, so a trip to the grocery store takes 20 minutes rather than 2 hours. I have income to shop at more upscale grocery stores which offer a better variety of unprocessed foods. This challenge can be tricky sometimes, but it’s a challenge I might not be able to take in different circumstances.
Overall, this has been a positive experience so far, and I’m already considering the extent to which I want to make unprocessed eating part of my daily life after October. Ideally, it would be forever, but that would mean never eating at certain restaurants or cooking certain comfort foods ever again. I’m trying to figure out what sort of balance I want to strike.