What is That Burning Orb in the Sky?

After throwing myself into a couple What I Wore Sunday posts early in the fall, temperatures dipped below fifty, meaning I couldn’t go outside and take nice pictures without being too dang cold or bundled up. And since the interior of my house might be, too, um “keeping it real”, I ditched the fashion shots for awhile.

But yesterday was the tomorrow Annie promised cause it was warm and sunny! I love you tomorrow! (Or yesterday.) Which prompted a spontaneous decision to go to the playground after Mass.

I wasn’t prepared for all the brilliant sunlight so I shielded my delicate eyes as much as possible.

Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: Christmas gift
Tights: Christmas gift
Boots: Christmas gift
Scarf: Birthday gift
Hat and Glasses: Target

Teddy and Fulton trying to figure out a way to drive into the slushy, icy, mud puddles when Tony and I weren’t looking.
According to Fulton, the water looked “amazing”.
Today I’m sore from doing this half a dozen times instead of the “Just once!” I insisted upon.

There were actually other women at the park snapping fashion photos! I considered walking over and asking if they blogged, where, etc., but I noticed they were dressed very fashionably with matching bags and shoes and hair and makeup vs what was clean from the bottom of their closet. So I wimped out. But I was also very busy keeping Fulton and Teddy from driving into numerous water hazards.

As for the capsule wardrobe, I’m still at it. I added in some sweaters and took out some older skirts and t-shirts for winter around the beginning of January. The best part is, in general, I usually dress nicer; no more frumpy sweatshirts, gauchos and Ugg boot days. But I didn’t sacrifice comfort at all. Even my nicest church clothing is comfortable enough for every day. The only downer is a wear a ton of black and grey now. It’s easier to only have a few colors to work with, but I’m wondering how this palate is going to take me into spring and summer. I can’t look like a widow year round.

So outwardly, I’m feeling pretty good. Especially with the fresh jolt of Vitamin D. But with Lent coming up, I’m starting to thing about the internal and for me, as I mentioned in my New Year’s resolution post, I’m going to complete a Whole30 as my “fasting” component this year.

Looking at that picture of me, would you guess that I am severely hypertensive? I also have kidney disease. So while I’m at my best weight ever, and have a great self image for probably the first time in my life, my insides are actually a mess.

I gave up gluten three years ago this Lent and stopped getting migraines and lower GI issues, but my blood pressure remained at 160 over 90+ without medication. Even when I was running religiously for my 5Ks, those numbers would not waiver without the help of meds (medication that cannot be taken safety during pregnancy BTW. Teddy was born six weeks early because even on bed-rest and with tons of safer meds, my BP kept going up.) My kidney function is still really good and I only visit a specialist once a year to keep tabs on it. And my cholesterol? Not great, and my doctors would be happy to write me a Lipator script.  I worry about my long term health; a kidney flare up, medicine side effects, needing increasing doses, etc.

There is a long history of heart disease in my family and frankly, I don’t want to spend my life on drugs. I want tackle this beast head on. So this Whole30 is not about going on a diet, but hopefully finding a way to deal with my blood pressure. If it doesn’t help, it didn’t cost me anything and I’ll hopefully still walk away from the experience feeling better, and if it does help my BP, I’m fully prepared to make permanent dietary changes to keep things where they should be.

I really don’t think I could’ve given up gluten successfully had it not been Lent. I hate fasting so. much. but taking on a restrictive diet is doable when I can combine it with other spiritual practices. It also helps that we keep no junk food in the house during Lent.

I understand many of my readers don’t give a whoot about the Whole30, so if you’re interested in joining me, I’d like to set up a private Facebook group where we can work through it together. Then I can keep things business as usual around here with only the occasional “EGGS AGAIN?” remark. Leave a comment below, email me a kellymantoan (at) gmail (dot) com or write on my Facebook wall if you’re interested in joining along.

Didn’t expect that side trip did you? How did I even work a discussion on my blood pressure into a fashion post? Better swing back to Fine Linen and Purple for more lovely ladies who won’t bore you with their health history.


  1. I’ve done whole3o (whole40?!) for Lent and it’s a great sacrifice. My husband and I are doing it this year! It is so tough. I will say that I cheated a little a made muffins that had only whole30 approved ingredients. They were a nice break from the eggs..

  2. Good luck! One of these Lents I’m going to try a whole 30 or going gluten-free – I’m with you, I can’t undertake any sort of diet changes unless it’s a Lenten sacrifice… I’d love to hear how it works for you when it comes to budget – one reason I haven’t tried (aside from the constant pregnant and/or nursing phase) is that I’m a little worried it’ll completely blow our budget. Are you doing it for the whole family or just you?

  3. I just finished my first whole30 and it was really great. The hard part is figuring out how and what to integrate back in. I think dairy and gluten are some of my triggers, but going back to whole30 for a few days to get my gut back under control!

  4. I will do the Whole30 with you! I need the boost to get over my plateau anyway and plus I have heard tale of it helping with infertility. I have lost 40 pounds since September, but have stayed put the last few weeks. Does it count as a Lenten sacrifice if it is something I WANT to do, though? Especially as it is maybe partially vanity to want to look thinner? It sounds pretty sucky, so probably it does count.

  5. I’d like to try a Whole30 for lent with the caveat that I will not completely eliminate dairy. I’ve done it in the past for nursing food allergic babies and taking a 14 month break made me temporarily lactose intolerant. I prefer to leave a little bit in and just cut back.

  6. I too am pretty severely hypertensive after press eclampsis 9 years ago. Lost 65lbs (30ish more to go) and my numbers haven’t changed. I day paleoish but have never made the plunge to try whole 30. I may be interested!!!

  7. If I had been at the park you probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk to me for the opposite reason: my clothes were too unstylish. Best of luck with the health issues! Lent is just great for making me do things I should be doing already. I’ve decided this year it will be daily sit ups and push ups. Happy Lent!

  8. I was planning to start the Whole30 for Lent too! I have had PCOS for many years and all the fertility issues that go along with it. Through progesterone support, I was able to get pregnant a few years ago and now have a 2 year old son but I’m eager for more children. We had a miscarriage back in November which was disheartening but I’m hopeful. I’ve read about people essentially curing PCOS with a whole food type of diet (essentially Paleo) but haven’t had the discipline to really do it myself. I am motivated now and kind of easing into it gradually as I started to eliminate most wheat from my diet about 5 months ago and over the last week got really serious about no grains and minimal sugar. I feel good, have dropped 5 lbs without any change in activity and am eager to “go all the way” with the Whole30. My last hold out is dairy as I love a splash of cream in my coffee and cheese. I’ve got a pretty bad sweet tooth too so it will be hard giving up my nightly treat of some dark chocolate chips with peanuts but I feel like there it’s gonna be a good thing 🙂

  9. You are such a fun mom, Kelly! And I’m w/ you- I am terrible at fasting but am half-way through my 1st Whole30 and can’t believe I’ve gotten this far. No way would I ever think I’d be able to give up milk for any time much less bread or chocolate…I’m hoping this 30 day think will give a long-term boost to my lacking self-control esp. since Lent is coming up. 🙂

  10. I kept staring at your pictures and trying to wish the snow away outside (and we haven’t even had that bad of a winter this year!). I think my favorite thing about the WIWS posts has been being able to see the ground (not covered in snow) in many of the posts.

    And I hope the Whole30 helps! I know when I did an elimination diet (eliminating all the major allergens for 3 months) I felt better than I had… ever… of course as soon as we figured out what the actual allergy was I didn’t have the self control to make that diet permanent!

  11. I know the Coke will be going away for Lent and that is going to suck for me but… it would be a whole lot better for my insides.

  12. Also… it was being on the safe blood pressure meds during my pregnancy with Daniel that probably saved my life and helped me keep him in for a little bit longer. Both sides of my family have blood pressure issues (my paternal grandmother died from it) and my neurologist had given them to me for migraines. It was the blood pressure spike a week before Daniel’s birth that gave us the warning that the pre-e was starting because before that, my blood pressure was usually too low.

    Now, Losartin is my BFF. I had to start taking BP meds in the fall of 2011 and I pitched a holy hissy fit over it. My parents, in-laws, husband, and my twin brother all said the same thing: “shut up and take the damn pill!”

  13. I’m doing a Whole 30 for Lent too! I really want to tame the sugar beast before bambino #3 arrives in April. Please invite me to your fb group, pleasepleaseplease, because I have no idea what I’m doing:)

  14. I had no idea about your health issues, Kelly. Well done, you, for tackling them.

    And I am with you 100% on needing Lent for making changes. I can’t just do it for myself, I need to fit it into something else.

  15. Kelly, I am joining you for whole30 in Lent. I also have BP issues I would like to resolve. Let’s pray for each other, I need all the help I can get!

  16. I’m so glad you’re back to linking up!! You look wonderful – and good for you for taking charge of your health!!

  17. I was working downtown in 2009 and ate fast food for lunch often — at least three times a week. I gave it up for Lent and could not believe how much better I felt!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.