20 Days on The Plan (revised) Days seven - nine)

20 Days on The Plan (revised) Days seven - nine)

Day Seven on the Twenty Day Plan

It’s sunday and I wake up to Sue’s voice. “I’m turning on the light.”

Okay,in fairness, she was probably worried that I was laying in bed w my eyes wide open and didn’t want to shock me.

Thing is, before we went to bed, Sue advised me to reset my alarm from six to seven so I’d get that extra hour of sleep even though, technically, with the time change, it would really only mean the same amount of sleep but I agreed that it was a smart thing to do.

Only it was now six thirty (five thirty) and Sue’s light was on as she was checking her BBT. “I knew it,” she said, sounding vindicated. “It’s up.”

Meaning, I gathered, that the reason all along for her low BBT’s was not having a thermometer on her side of the bed.

Meaning, for me, I can now look forward to another two weeks of courtesy announcements at any given hour that her bedside light is coming on.

I check my BBT’s. The same. I’m low. Not quite 94.0. But when I get on the scales, my weight is down almost a full pound. That’s five pounds in just seven days. Not too bad.

Breakfast this morning is spelt flakes cereal. I have a choice of unsweetened coconut milk or rice milk. Ugh. I look in the fridge and see the goat milk; a quart I had bought a week ago when I thought The Plan was going to be okay w goat milk.  There it was, unopened. It was tempting. I had been reading about goat milk. It was supposedly much better than cow’s milk. Despite all my ambivalence about meat, milk in tea and in cereal was something I was very, very reluctant to give up.

I tell Sue I’m going with the goat milk.  She okay’s it but as soon as we sit down she starts scouring the Plan books and concludes it’s too soon for dairy with the exception of half and half in coffee.

“Why is that?”

Sue reads Lyn-Genet’s discourse on fats and sugars in milk and the more fat the better but it’s too soon for any other dairy, she tells me.

Whatever, I murmur. It’s delicious and I slurp it all down and, best of all, as the day progresses, no reaction. This is great news because spelt is wheat so I seem okay with wheat and dairy. Cool.

We review meal plans. It’s a Sunday - no pressing meetings or trips to the office.

Do you want to make soup? Sue asks. Basil Escarole?

I do. It’s not actually on today’s menu but it will give Sue a break tomorrow when she would otherwise need to find time to make a large batch for upcoming meals.

I drive up to the bakery to check on things. It’s a relatively warm day – upper 30’s and the sun is out. Lots of folks walking or jogging along the side of the road. Spring is coming and it’s such a good feeling.

I’m expecting Billy or Ian at some point to begin the soak on the wheat berries for Tuesday night’s bake but, for the time being, the place is quiet. I’m alone. I check out a new food processor that Nick must have picked up and I see we got a delivery of unsulphered ginger.  It’s got to be rinsed of sugar and pureed before it can be added with the flax mix to make the ginger granola. I decide to test the new food processor and go about boiling water and prepping a batch of ginger. I measure what I’m doing and take notes. The food processor is baffling at first as I pull a multitude of pieces out of the box but, little by little, I get it figured out and it works great. Job done. I head home for lunch.

Sue calls just as I’m coming up the walk. Good timing. Lunch is leftover veggies on greens with goat cheese.  We both wonder when we’re ever going to see basmati rice on the menu again. We had it early on - day two or day three and really enjoyed it. So why haven’t we seen it again?

I could email Althea but it might be quicker if I go on the Team Plan facebook page and post there. Within minutes, several responses come in and I pass the info on to Sue. It seems rice was allowed early on before we introduced meat into the menu choices. But, rice and meat can be highly reactive together so it will be a test much later on in The Plan. Someone posts that The Plan is very carefully planned out to maintain a critical balance and must be followed exactly.

Okay, no rice. We can handle that but, in the back of my mind I’m wondering about the goat milk and if there will be consequences.

I haul the little flat screen TV up from the basement and hook it up in the kitchen so I can watch a basketball game while making soup. I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended Ohio State. The Buckeyes are in my genes. There’s really nothing I can do about that. But it’s more than that. Whenever I call home and talk to my dad or my siblings it’s very important that we have a fall back conversation, which happens to be Ohio State. Football preferably but basketball is acceptable. Politics is not. When it comes  to politics, I am the polar opposite of my entire family (direct and extended going out quite a ways as I have discovered on facebook).

As it happens, I get a call from my daughter. She’s attending an arts school in New Mexico.  I can’t really say what her politics are – I don’t often bring it up because the topic bores her, which would also be true of anything to do with Ohio State. We talk about art, Birdman, the movie and The Plan and my decision to go on it. She’s not surprised I’m doing it but very surprised that I’m blogging about it.

“Aren’t you taking quite a risk,” she asks.

“What do you mean?”

“What if it doesn’t work for you? Won’t you be telling all these people who come to your website to buy the granola that The Plan didn’t work for you.”

I see her point.

“That doesn’t seem like a smart business move,” she says.

“I’m hoping it works, obviously,” I say and get defensive.  “I mean, so far so good and Sue is doing it with me and she’s seeing real benefits that neither of us expected.”

“Like what?”

I tell her that Sue has chronic pain in her lower back that stems from either a bulging disk or an injury to her tailbone or both. Amazingly, The Plan has alleviated a lot of that pain and in a relatively short amount of time. We were so stunned by this development, that I posted about it on Team Plan face book page to see if this was unusual. Lyn-Genet herself chimed in saying that, yes, The Plan can help reduce pain from inflammation. Several others confirmed this from their own personal experience.

My daughter reminds me that she tried The Plan almost two years ago and bailed after a day or two. “It’s just soooo much food preparation,” she says.

“You’re right about that.”

“And you have to drink soooo much water.”

“Right, right. I know. I know.”

Sue comes downstairs to get started on dinner. Herbed chicken again with sautéed veggies. I say goodbye to my daughter and watch the last few minutes of the game as the Buckeyes are handed their worst defeat of this season. This doesn’t bode well for their ranking in the upcoming NCAA tourney.

Dinner is delicious as always. Sue wants to go to bed early but I have a lot of emails to catch up on. I try to email everyone who orders from us off our website to make sure they got what they ordered and were completely satisfied. I do each email individually, checking order history and if there has been any other correspondence that might have come up with past orders.  Quite a few people respond to these email queries of mine and it’s almost always positive. That said, virtually every one of these customers came to our website because they were looking for the flax granola to go on The Plan. It’s a very narrow market and I need to figure out how we can extend our sales beyond the role we play in The Plan. It’s one of my biggest challenges.

End of Day seven on the Twenty Day Plan

 

Day Eight on the Twenty Day Plan – Monday and misery

I wake up and I know I’m in trouble. I can feel it. My BBT remains low and when I get on the scales, I’m up two full pounds. Unbelievable.

The goat milk…? I will run it by Althea but I’m sure I’m going to get a scolding. Follow The Plan. Follow The Plan. Do not deviate from The Plan.

Sue tries to sound positive. Her BBT’s are up and she’s lost more weight. “You’ll bounce back,” she says.

On the way downstairs my right knee buckles. The pain is sharp but I seem to kick it out and I continue on. Breakfast is flax granola with unsweetened coconut milk. Not too bad.  I can’t quite bring myself to try the rice dreams milk alternative but I find I’m good with the coconut milk.

It’s Monday morning. I drive to the bakery, which is empty but I see activity from the night before. D.J. and Steve arrive and get to work in packaging. Nick shows up to give the wheat a drain and a drink – the next step in sprouting after the initial soak. I notice my knee again, and realize I’m hobbling. Nothing too serious but what I did I do?

I bake up a batch of the chocolate flax granola then roll it into bars then cover and set everything in the fridge to cool. I’ll check them again in the morning then take them to the office to sample with Kristen and the ladies from the home nursing company.

When I get to the office, my knee seems okay but I am favoring it. Kristen arrives with her son whose medical situation requires another trip to the doctor’s office but he seems just fine to me. We review villains and heroes on his tablet game and their array of weaponry. Lex Luther and Superman duke it out awhile with no clear winner.

Kristen shows me the amazing work she has done in the last four months compiling data from Shopify onto quick books. She can scroll down and show me all our different products, how much we make of it and the dollars that each item brings in. This looks like useful information and I am grateful.

I go onto facebook and offer some comments on the Team Plan page. Lyn-Genet chimes in and we have a friendly facebook chat. I head home for lunch and discover my knee has seriously worsened. I need to run errands and Sue needs to run to the store to pick up more radicchio for supper. She agrees to drive while I sit in the car and she runs my errands for me.

Along the way, Sue mentions that she was not happy about me dragging her into this Plan thing but, now that we’re a week in, she tells me she feels great, has more energy, better focus and has decided it’s been worth all the trouble. When we get home, I take one step out of the car and scream in pain. I can barely walk. In fact, I can’t walk. The pain is intense. I hang on to Sue and we drag my butt inside.

Sue peppers me with questions. What did you do? What were you doing when this happened? Has this ever happened before? Then she wants to know if I’m going to the hospital. I tell her I’m taking a bath in Epson salts. I make it up the stairs with Sue’s help. She draws a bath and I tumble in but it does not help. The pain is not only sharp but now it’s throbbing and my knee is badly swollen. Sue wraps a baggie of ice around my knee and tapes it off with elastic wrap. I lay down and grown and eventually fall asleep. When I awake, Sue has found a pair of crutches in the attic. Perfect. I need them.

I make my way on crutches down the stairs for dinner, which Sue has lavishly prepared. Steamed white fish (wild caught pacific cod) with a side of sautéed kale and a radicchio and apple salad. Ahhh, excellent.

Sue points to my Brita water filter jug that I fill every morning and I see I drank maybe half.

It’s too late to drink any more water. This has been a terrible day. I don’t think I’ve broken anything but this is either a serious sprain, or, worst case, a torn ligament.

Ugh. I just want to go to bed.

End of Day eight on the Twenty Day Plan

 

Day Nine of the Twenty Day Plan 

Gota lot of rest last night. The swelling and pain on the knee has subsided. I’m calling it a sprain but everyone Sue or I talk to today diagnose it as torn bicardiual something or other.

BBT is up – not too far from what the Plan team want to see. Weight is down but by just two tenths of a pound.

Sue is getting great BBT readings – right at where she needs to be, indicating an active thyroid. I’m suspicious she’s got that thermometer tucked under her arm all night. I wouldn’t put it past her in her quest to get her BBT reading just right. She’s becoming a freak about this BBT business. I go to drape my arm around her as I sit up and she’s like, what are doing, you’re gong to skew my BBT.

Sue makes the trip downstairs for lemon water and tea and brings it all back up some twenty or so minutes later. Boiling water and steeping the morning tea has been my job from the very beginning of our relationship but now that I’m off that detail even if just for one day, I find I really love that extra half hour of sleep in the morning.  It’s occurred to me that, if there is any one thing that has solidified this relationship and made it enduring it’s probably that – that extra half hour from when the alarm goes off to when Doug returns with morning tea. I mean, just saying, a little thing like that every morning can go a long way toward erasing all the little guy things I’m guilty of thru the course of the day.

Breakfast is spelt cereal with Coconut milk, fresh blueberries and diced fresh pear.

We pass around the Kelp pill bottle, a spoonful of the B-12 and another capsule packed with 55 billion probiotics.

Kristen calls and wants to know when I’ll be in the office. I say soon but twenty minutes later I deem it a bad idea. I’m going to work at home, I text her, and tell her I’m going to take it easy.

I fill my Brita pitcher and get to work.

Kristen stops over with papers and checks to sign.

Sue leaves to meet a friend at the Bakers Guild Café for coffee then texts me that they are both coming back to the house. Her friend has Lyme’s and it sounds serious. She’s found a doctor who’s taken her off antibiotics and, from what she describes of her treatment, it sounds very much like The Plan formula. This is why they’ve come back to the house as Sue has decided to gift her one of our Plan books. I didn’t realize she had a stack to peel off from. I got them for my sisters, she explains later.

Lunch is sautéed kale with baby romaine, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.

We watch a little Young & the Restless then I go back to working my water pitcher.

Sue has her jug of water already polished off. “I never thought I could drink that much water in one day,” she tells me then states, “It’s really not that hard.”

Nick stops over with the new menu for the café. It looks good but I’m wondering about getting more Plan friendly items into our mix of offerings. I doubt we have many planners in this very small town and two plus hours seems like a long drive for someone coming in from New York City but, we ought to be able to star some menu items. I decide not to push it. I need the guys to see the unqualified success I’ve had being on The Plan to make the case and, at the moment, I’m looking like a broken down geezer of a wreck as I hobble about, unshaven, in my pj’s.

Snack is the rest of my pear from breakfast and a handful of almonds.

I polish off my water with plenty of time to spare before dinner. Oddly, the thing of it is, as much as I don’t relish drinking all that water each and every day, I find I miss–even more–not being able to drink water after dinner or late at night when I wake up thirsty or with that dry, nasty taste in my mouth. When I sent Althea an email on this, she wrote back and told me to add more lemon juice to my water and I won’t be thirsty at night.

It’s a Tuesday which means a bread bake is underway up at the bakery. We have a record number of bread orders on the website this week plus a few more on Amazon and I’m genuinely thrilled. I won’t be able to get up to the bakery tonight to see how it’s going but I text Bill and he sounds enthusiastic. Later in the evening I get a series of texts and pictures. The loaves are coming out beautifully and they’re seeing a 100% pocket ratio on the pita. Fantastic news.

Sue leaves for a yoga class while I bail on attending an organizational meeting for a summer farmer’s market. In part because of my knee but I’m also questioning our participating in outdoor farmer markets. Now that we have the café, I’d prefer to see people come to us, but there’s also the problem of trying to find someone to man our table. Ever since we lost Awesome Dave we’ve been without a salesman. Steve does a great job at our indoor stall in Lewisburg on Wednesdays but it’s not the sort of thing he really wants to do and Saturday mornings are out of the question for him.

Later, when I retrieve my messages from the office, I have a message from a woman I know here in town who’s looking for a part time job. She’s best known in our community as a semi-professional clown. She’s at nearly every community event and does a lot of kids parties. I immediately think, oh my god, she could be great. She’s incredibly personable and I think she could really get behind our products.

I call her right back and leave a message. A little later she calls back and she sounds interested though Saturday mornings might conflict with her clown schedule and she has kids. I tell her I love the idea of having her work with us doing markets but it occurs to me that, before I hire anybody, I need to run it past the guys – just to be absolutely certain no one already on payroll wants to pick up a few more hours doing market sales. But honestly, I tell myself, this will be a formality. Asking if any of our guys want to get up at seven a.m. on a Saturday morning to set up a tent and sell our bread and granola. Not. Very. Likely. But then it hits me, I’m going to have to mention that I’m considering hiring a clown for the job and I flash on the kind of reaction I’ll get to that one. “First rabbi’s and now clowns?” Bill’s mocking tone sears thru my brain.

Sue returns from yoga. She’s looking svelte and energized. She tells me she’s already hit her target weight. I’m telling you, Sue is doing great on The Plan. Me, I got some catching up to do. But I will tough it out and I do expect results. And yet, quite honestly, The Plan still seems like a woman’s gig. Whenever I go on the Team Plan face book page, it’s all women. I have yet to see any men post. My daughter’s comment from the night before hits me and I think, wow, I really have set myself up. I need to show results here.

I hobble over to the kitchen counter and help Sue by chopping veggies. She wants to grate beets and carrots for our absolute favorite Plan Friendly salad and I pull out the food processor with the grater attachment and food chute and show her how to save a ton of time.  Sue is in awe. I cannot believe this woman has never worked a food processor before.

We have chicken with the adobo sauce, stir fried veggies and the shredded beet and carrot salad with a little added radicchio.

 No wine tonight but we’re also adding an ounce of dark chocolate apiece to the end of the meal. Plan approved. Nice.

I get a last pic from Bill. A 30 ounce monster of a loaf that looks fantastic and a boule – a rounded artisan loaf - that I could put in any bread competition in the world. Nice work guys.

End of Day nine on the Twenty Day Plan



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