Whole 30 – Day 4

I made it to bed at 11PM last night and, although I thought I was tired, didn’t fall asleep as fast as I thought I would.  Oh well.

Every Thursday for the past five years I’ve met with a small group of men.  It’s an early day as we meet at 6:45AM and I’m 20 minutes away.  So when the alarm goes off at 5:30… I realize I should have been in bed sooner.

This also means that I don’t get much of anything to eat before leaving the house, and since we meet at Dunkin’ Donuts I don’t really have any options when I get there. (Look, don’t judge.  DD is a convenient location and we only buy coffee… remember, I’m gluten sensitive).  I do love the look of the staff every Thursday when I hand them my coffee mug and already has my Ghee and coconut oil in the bottom.

The rest of the day is unremarkable, honestly.  Lunch was yet another salad with lots of mix-ins and celery/apples with almond butter as a side.  I have some nuts throughout the day… and otherwise I only have to struggle to ignore the snack closet in the kitchen twice today.  So far that’s probably the one thing that I just can’t get over… how used to snacking on little stuff I am.  Even though I’m not hungry in the true sense, I just love to have something to crunch on.  It’s a really hard habit to break.

Laura is being amazing (nothing new) by helping to prepare separate stuff for me.  So, when I get home, she has kept chicken out of the noodles and just put some stir-fried veggies with it.  So, that was dinner.  Again, I’m really trying to listen to my body more and realize that if I’m getting the munchies, I should just grab some water or (in the evening) some ginger tea.

As for everything I listed in the first post that I was going to try and be aware of, honestly I don’t notice much yet.  Nothing big with the skin. Nothing terribly noticeable with the voice/sinuses.  So, it’s certainly not a step backwards, but I can’t claim any major changes yet.

On to day 5…


Whole 30 – Day 3

So, yeah, that 3AM beeping by a child’s toy seems to have really messed me up.  The alarm went off at 6AM, and I thought I was going to stay up, but next thing I knew it was 7AM and I didn’t feel so zippy.  Darn.

Getting ready for work feels like a chore, but I do get a lunch made (mostly the same as yesterday), have a few slices of bacon that the family has out as part of their breakfast and I grab a banana on the way out the door.  Not the best start to the day.  Interestingly enough, though, I don’t feel super hungry as I’m going about stuff to get out the door.

At work I take my time eating the banana and sipping on my BP coffee through the morning.  I make myself head out for another, longer run at lunch.  A bit more effort than yesterday, but again, it’s not because my body is out of energy/carbs.  I just haven’t been running consistently lately.

Lunch is almost a copy of yesterday (I’m thankful the Laura is able to have groceries available to do this experiment)… which again, I take my time with as I attend a 1.5 hour meeting.  I sip on Kombucha again, but that’s been a habit for the past six months, so nothing unusual there.

Nothing big to report in the afternoon, except that I definitely am feeling a bit run down and starting to develop a headache.  I’m definitely a teeth grinder.  Making music all of my life, part of it is a bad habit I’ve developed since childhood of making rhythm’s with my teeth.  I don’t often realize I’m doing it.  That, coupled with the fact that I’m clenching my jaw more because I don’t have things to munch on (even though I’m not hungry)… seem to be contributing to the ache.  It doesn’t help that I think something is going on with a tooth… something I started to notice two weeks ago.

I’m home at about 6PM and have a simple, but good, dinner of organic beef (from our own pasture) and veggies.  There’s some avocado and cucumber on the table too.  The headache is a bit more bothersome, but it’s definitely tied to my tooth hurting too.

All of that aside, one thing that’s striking is that I am not ever actually “hungry” today… at least not in the way I’m used to.  I continue to feel an urge to crunch on something (man, those pretzels keep calling me from the pantry)… but I’m not “hungry”.  Just interesting.

Whole 30 – Day 2

Because I was intentional about getting up and preparing good food for breakfast and a lunch to take to work, I started this day well.  Spinach and fruit smoothy, two eggs and a few walnuts.  I made my “bullet proof” coffee with Ghee for the first time and it seems to taste better than the grass-fed butter I normally use.

I also just finished listening to chapter 5 of the book, which did a wonderful job of explaining how all of the hormones work together with food and our energy levels throughout the day… as well as our cravings.  I’m pretty tuned into that today.

I feel great through the morning (although again, I want to just keep chomping on nuts at work) and I have no problem taking a gentle run before lunch.  No energy issues sans-carbs for 48 hours now.

I take my time eating lunch which consists of salad and organic chicken sausage, celery and almond butter, and my homemade Kombucha.  Honestly, I feel good throughout the rest of the day.  At 5:30, my awesome wife brought me broccoli and chicken for dinner when she dropped of the older kids for me to run around to lessons through the evening.  I eat that and an apple while one of our daughters has her violin lesson.

By the time we get home in the evening I have some work to do, but I feel full and am aware of my cravings but also know why I have them now… having trained my hormones for years to follow this pattern.

So two days in, I have no problem with the eating or things I am giving up.  Sure, I want a few M&M’s in the afternoon when I go into the kitchen at work… but no biggie.  Nothing else physically has noticeably changed.  Maybe there’s less drainage/post-nasal drip… but that’s really hard to judge at this point.

I’m in bed just before 11PM and fall asleep easily. Unfortunately, I’m awoken at 3AM by a child’s electronic toy gone crazy and, although I fall back to sleep quickly I’m not in good shape at 6AM when the alarm goes off.

Whole 30 – Day 1

As expected, this isn’t a big deal yet.  It’s 24 hours.  In general, the two “big” thing I have to change from most of my day-to-day diet is leaving out dairy and grains.  Since I’m Gluten sensitive, there are a lot of things I’m used to giving up… but also more and more that I can now substitute when I have cravings.

I’m listening to the companion book, It’s All About Food, at the same time which has been helpful.


I have two observations initially:

  1. I’m not specifically hungry at any time, but my tendency to be a “snacker” (even healthy stuff) is noticeable.  Therefore, my jaw/teeth are already sore from clenching a little in the absense of munching on stuff.
  2. At 9PM, I’m generally overcome with the need to eat something.  It’s obvious to me that this isn’t because of any hunger pains, but rather habit.  I’m just used to satisfying my cravings with something crunchy… like gluten free pretzels.  Arg… I really want to crunch on something.


Whole 30 – Why I’m trying it

Overall, if you look at me, I look pretty healthy.  I can run a few miles without much effort.  I don’t binge on sweets much and my diet is somewhat controlled because I’m Gluten sensitive.  I’m not overweight.

However, I don’t feel great, consistently for more than a few days at a time.  Between chronic sinus issues, “weekend warrior” pains and strains, and never getting enough sleep trying to accomplish too many things, I’m far from the picture of health.  As a husband and father of five kids… now in my 40s, I desperately want to feel better, more consistently.

And I’ve know this for a long time.  In fact, for the better part of 5-6 years I’ve told my wife, Laura, that I feel like I need to just cut everything out, start with a really simple diet of something and then build up from there. At this point, the Whole 30 feels like the best option I’ve heard about in years.  So I’m diving in.

The things I’m going to try and pay attention to:

  • Sinus issues, drainage, allergies
  • Sleep patterns and energy levels
  • Performance in exercise
  • Vocal performance (I’m a singer, and my voice has just been out of wack for a while)
  • Some chronic skin dryness on my forehead
  • Overall cognative abilities… how much “fog” to I feel from day-to-day

Here goes!  🙂

Barbecue Sauce + iPhone 4 = “Can you hear me now??”

OK, quick background. I passed on the 3GS in hopes of something better the next year – Laura has always had a hand-me-down phone since she avoided getting a cell phone until about 3 years ago. When I finally upgraded to the iPhone 4, Laura got my old 3G. I knew it wasn’t going to last long. I couldn’t stand the thing for over a year (it’s slowness) and even though it was a big upgrade for her – it quickly became aggravating to use for her as well… and that’s saying something.

So in December we were able to take advantage of the Radio Shack deal for the iPhone trade-in and she got upgraded to an iPhone 4. She insisted it wasn’t worth the money… until she could actually boot an application in less than 30 seconds. 🙂

So, all was well and good until a few weeks ago. We had been promising to take the girls to the dollar theater to see Secretariat since they both like horses and dream of getting one on the farm someday. Church ran late and so the idea to having lunch at McDonald’s first turned into a drive-thru run. Surely, we thought, the theater wouldn’t be that packed and we could sit in the back and eat our chicken nuggets and cheese burgers. So Laura proceeded to stuff everything into her purse so that we could just whisk into the theater and hopefully only miss a few minutes. Aside from being a few minutes late, the plan was working perfectly.

I should have realized at this point not everything was going to work out so smoothly as appeared on the surface.

First off, we bought tickets, ran into the theater only to find that half of State College thought today was going to be a good day to see a horse movie. And all of them had been on time. Instead of sitting neatly in the back and eating our stowaway food, we about halfway back. I can only imagine what everyone else was thinking as we opened our fries and burgers – there’s just no way to hide the aroma of McDonald’s. It took us half the movie to slowly eat the food in hopes of not drawing more attention to us than needed. It took another quarter of the movie for me to stop thinking about how everyone was mad at us for bringing in outside food… and McDonald’s at that.  Regardless, we made it to the end and nobody seemed to give us a second glance as the lights came up at the end. (Did I mention that I’m generally a “rule guy” when it comes to public things??)

The second surprise came about a week later.  At some point that week as we were sitting around the dinner table Laura mentioned that she had a surprise in her purse earlier that day.  Turns out that in the midst of the mad rush to shove everything into her purse for the movie, a barbecue packet has been placed in a side packet and forgotten about.  Somehow, today, that packet had been squeezed open.  Unpleasant for sure.  Since I knew it wasn’t a bodily injury kind of incident, I didn’t feel too bad about asking, “So, how’s the iPhone?”  “Oh, it’s fine.  I’m pretty sure nothing got on it.”  Somehow, I missed that “pretty sure” comment.

Later that week, Laura called me while she was at the store trying to ask me a question.  At least three times in that conversation I said, “Honey, I just can’t understand you.  Are you sure there’s not something covering the mic at the bottom of the phone?”  I could tell she couldn’t quite understand what I was asking but again, she confirmed that nothing was on the bottom of the phone.  OK – no need to store a “to do” in my brain then.  I quickly forgot about it.

Then last Sunday came.  Laura’s phone had not been plugged in for a few days and was sitting in her purse dead.  Since we were going to church early so that I could practice music Laura was going to head to the store for a few items.  I made sure she plugged in the phone on the way to church.  Halfway down the road I realized that her phone was in fact, NOT charging.  Not having the time to look at it then I figured I’d get to it on the way home.  On the way home we tried again, plugging and unplugging the phone with no luck.  Finally at one stoplight I was able to get a better look at the bottom of the phone.  Much to my surprise the mic portal was covered with…

…you guessed it…

Barbecue sauce.  Gummy Barbecue sauce.

“I thought you said nothing got on the phone in your purse??”  “Oops…”

Needless to say I had one task on my mind when we got home.  I grabbed a toothpick and a Q-tip dampened with rubbing alcohol and did my best to carefully clean the screen covering the mic.

Unfortunately, as careful as I was trying to be NOT to get it actually wet so that nothing would get into the mic, my cleaning only seemed to make things worse.  By the next day, the mic stopped working totally.  Laura was now tied to either a bluetooth speaker or headphones if she wanted to use the phone.  I knew that was not going to work.

I read and searched for two evenings looking for solutions to the problem (yes, I’m slightly obsessive compulsive when I want to figure something out).  I knew this wouldn’t be covered by AppleCare and I wasn’t ready to fork over $150 to a third party to fix it… yet.  There are a number of sites that offer help – but I’ve always been a fan of iFixit.  And so, last night I embarked on the adventure to take the phone apart and see if there was any way to get a working microphone before I took more costly steps.

Long and short – I was successful.  The phone is amazingly well designed (no surprise) and very easy to work on as long as you have the right tools.  There was one slight casualty – the rubber microphone holder tor on me and – so Laura’s phone has some yellow craft foam carefully stuffed in next to the mic to make sure it’s won’t slip out of place.  But, other than that – I don’t think you’d know I had performed an operation.  And hopefully, no apple engineer will ever have to see our little addition.

So, once again, we’re a happy little iPhone family.

A Few Good Men

I began writing this post back in June, just a week after we lost our third daughter, Juliette, at 20 weeks gestation.  It’s one of the hardest things our family has gone through and something that is particularly heavy on our minds in the days leading up to her would-be due date, 10/10/10.  And so, this post has been on my mind again and I thought it was a good time to finish it and publish it.


It’s been a tough few weeks to say the least.  The details don’t really matter – I’m continually reminded that we’re not the first to go through rough times like these… and besides, that’s not what this post is about.

Instead, this post is about the people you get to know as you go through times like these.  Better stated, this post is about the men I’d like to grow up to be like some day.  Christian men of the United States Armed Forces.  OK, for sure I’m making a gross generalization because I’m basing this opinion on three men in particular – and contrary to the title of this post they’re actually all Army men (although they could definitely “handle the Truth!“).  But, they are men that I’ve seen extraordinary things from – even in the admittedly few hours I’ve gotten to spend with any of them.

As I’ve talked about in detail on a separate page, my wife and I went through a tough time in our marriage five years ago.  During that time I traveled to West Point to visit a dear confidant who was teaching there at the time.  I needed a weekend away to gain a new perspective on my junk and figure out how to finally, really “own” it all.  Among the numerous things I experienced that weekend, one was a Saturday morning gathering held once a month called “Higher Ground” – a breakfast/worship/teaching gathering for the Christian men on post.  The room was packed and there was nothing particularly “special” about the meeting from an agenda point-of-view.  But I was an outsider (although none of the men made me feel that way at all) – and so in that short hour I saw something extremely rare and… well… beautiful.  No, I wouldn’t call it beautiful in a room full of infantry.

There was a level of masculine respect and intimacy among these men of faith that I had never see in 10 years of being a Christian.  There was no pretense, no favoritism, no outward barrier that kept things at the level of “see the game last night”.  Instead, the men in this room clearly stated through their actions and (when needed) words, “we are brothers in Christ, I’ve got your back and I don’t have to impress you with anything else.”  For days and weeks after being at West Point I just couldn’t get that out of my mind.  I had never experienced it – even though I’d had some deep relationships with men at my church since becoming a believer.

I’ve spoken of it many, many times since that weekend…. always slightly puzzled at how these military men have such a unique bond when Christ is among them.  I do not have a sociology degree (although I loved my freshman sociology class in college…. hmmmmm….) – but I think it has to exist simply because they share a very common lifestyle, with common threats, pains, joys and goals.  They move every few years and have to set up shop again and re-integrate their family into yet another new environment.  There’s no time to figure out if they can trust the guy across the street or rely on them to look out for their family and know that someone will drop everything if they’re in need of help.  They don’t have five years to build that foundation.  And so they show up and they serve because that’s what they’ve been training to do day after day – for years on end.

I suppose that’s probably why it’s easiest to see these men be such a great example of service to others.  It’s the reason they look you in the eye and say, “if you need help with something give me a call – I’m just a few miles down the road”… and they mean it.  They really, really mean it.  And I don’t know what to do with that because it’s so rare.  But I know I’m drawn to it because it’s real, genuine and so overflowing of God’s love – the kind of love that honestly makes me say, “I want to be like that.”  I think, at least in the example of these three men, I see a simple example of Jesus’s love lived out in simple “real man” ways.

One other thought occurred to me recently after we had a picnic at the farm with two of these Army families.  Even in the midst of a family life that’s always in transition and dad is often gone “on duty” – these families always have great kids and marriages.  They’re not perfect and not without trial, but they are strong.  Their children have a sense of purpose.  They’re wives know they can trust their men.   And together the family is close-knit and genuinely loves one another.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

So, when I grow up I want to be more like these men – which I’m pretty sure means I’ll be a little more like Jesus, too.  For that I’m thankful to have been blessed by these relationships.  And I’m thankful for a Father that loves me enough to give me better, tangible expressions of being “doers of the Word.”

God’s Provision

Wow. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted anything. Much like my desire to journal each day, this blog is just “that much” out of my reach to get to it seems. But things have been moving lately and at some point I just can’t shut up.

It seems that the Booz family has been in a fairly long period of God’s provision. I realize that Jesus is always providing for us, big or small, but sometimes we actually stop long enough to see it… be thankful for it. Somehow that culminated for me today when I ran my third half-marathon. Through the entire race I could feel his provision in my thoughts, my attitude and my actual physical strength. It was honestly, well… pretty darn great.

But as I finshed and my family made it back to the hotel so that we could get ready to leave, I was more aware that the place where Christ keeps giving and giving is with my family. And of almost anything that He could do, that feels the most amazing and precious of all. It is truly overwheling.

I’ve been blessed with a wife that shares the vision of having a family that knows and loves God. Our children, although imperfectly “children” in every way, are catching the vision as well. When these things work together – I find that we often function with a peace and joy that is not of our own doing. And all I can say is YAY!!!

It propells me to look forward to each day and see us experience more of Him each day. See my children pray for each other and the needs around them. My wife held in a place of honor at the city gates. Our collective thought, words, actions and resources used to bring glory to Jesus Christ and not ourselves.

I’m enjoying the journey more now then I did before. I’m still very, very far from perfect – but I’m glad when I actually live my life and can get to the end of a day and say, “thank you Father for you graceousness today.” I hope I can do that more in the days ahead.

The Honor Dare – Day 5

(part 5 of 14 of the “Honor Dare“)

Dare: Plan a family night.  Enjoy each other’s company for two hours or longer.
Verse: If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
(Mark 3:25)

Laura will be the first one to tell that I’m not typically the game organizer of the family.  Don’t get me wrong, I grew up playing family games a lot as a kid – but we just weren’t the flashy kind.  I remember playing a lot of games as a kid with my friends and sister – but with my family it was usually a holiday/special occasion thing.  I always had a good time (at least when I/we won), however, the existance of games or not didn’t determine if the time together was “real quality time”.

Then I met Laura and her family.  Any time we’re together for more then a few hours somebody always utters the words, “Who wants to play a game?”  If it were always just board games that would be one thing.  Unfortunately for me it’s often the kind of game where you have to write words down on paper or act something out or… well, it usually requires effort above the actual playing of the game and often requires me to go up against a family of word smiths.  Until recently, this was not fun for me.   And the problem is, I’ve been with Laura for almost 8 years now… so it’s been a long road of getting used to the concept that it’s not REALLY family time if we don’t play a game.  (OK, in all fairness to any Nazimek’s reading this post – I always ended up having fun… it was the process that I just didn’t get.  You people rock – don’t worry!)

Probably two years ago it did finally hit me that this was a good time – that spending time huddled around a deck of Dutch Blitz, a board of Sequence or a table of speed Scrabble was a good thing.  As everyone has grown older we don’t get much time with everyone now and we actually get to talk about a lot more when we’re playing games then when we’re sitting in front of the TV or mesmorized by Facebook locked away in our room.  I actually get to find out what’s going on with everyone and laugh (and often loose too… but I digress).

Go dig through the game closet and find that game you remember playing a couple of years ago after  Thanksgiving dinner that everyone enjoyed.  Set a time, invite the peeps and make sure you have a good bag of snacks on hand.

The Honor Dare – Day 4

(part 4 of 14 of the “Honor Dare“)

Dare: Speak well of your parents to others
Verse: Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Cor 13:6-7)

We’re told that our tonges (and the words they speak) are the hardest part of the body to tame.  I’ve known this to be true in my life many, many times.  In this and a couple of other areas, I’ve known Paul’s feelings to be true when he speaks in Romans 7, “I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…”  In our words this seems to be a hard thing to control.  I want to be more encouraging to others, I want speak more truth, I want to lie less… I want to speak well of others rather then talk about their weaknesses behind their back!

The really interesting thing is this. The more we speak well of others (both when they’re around and when they’re not) – the more we realize that they’re actually really great people!  Even when we don’t say a thing to them directly (although this will be a natrual outflow once you start to get in the habit of speaking well of them) – you’re attitude and interaction will improve.  That’s almost like doing no work at all.  You simply choose to speak well of your mom and dad when others are complaining about theirs – and a side benefit is that you start to get along with your mom and dad better… and you didn’t even try to do that!

Surprise yourself – find one nice thing to share about your parents with someone else.  See how it changes your attitude towards them.