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Yep, I had this for breakfast today!  My favorite!

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TRI FAST for Stroke and Returning to NYC

Each year, I like to designate a race for fundraising and charity. Last year, I participated in the NYC Triathlon as a member of the Autism Speaks Team.  I raised over $2,300 and as a whole, the 11 member team raised over $26,000!  I documented the race journey in a video, you can watch here:  https://vimeo.com/102575538 .  The experience was phenomenal and something I hoped to repeat in the near future.

With that hope in mind, I began searching for a new fundraising opportunity.  I began to brainstorm on organizations that impacted my life and those around me the most.  I ran through a laundry list of diseases and problems in the world. None seemed personal enough.

Until…

A bike ride (all good ideas come during a bike session…something about the cyclic motion of the legs that my mind seems to mimic like a hamster on a wheel) I came up with a brilliant idea.

There are people in the world that work to make a difference, not just in their own lives, but for the greater good of the human race.  They give so much of their lives that we often forget about their sacrifice and hardships.  For me, this person is one of my closest friends, Victoria.  The label “friend” is not an accurate descriptor, she is family or as she calls it, “framily”  Last year, she and her wife, Christy, took on the state of Virginia in a class action lawsuit, fighting for equal rights of same-sex couples and the right to marry. Nearly a year of their lives were dedicated to this effort.  Press conferences, phone calls, interviews, more press conferences, court date after court date after court date.   Not to exclude lovely bouts of hate mail. All their efforts and sacrifices resulted in a victory that changed the lives of so many couples in many states….their fight changed my life.  Because of them, I am legally married in my home state and with that, I am equal to my neighbors.  I cannot thank them enough.

So during this bike ride, I decided to dedicate my charity race this year to Victoria, who in the past couple years, suffered a near fatal stroke.  Had this disaster resulted in an unimaginable fatality, I’m not sure where the state of same-sex marriage would be for the state of Virginia and West Virginia.  Furthermore, I’m not sure my life would be as interesting, nor would I be so inspired be a positive impact on this world.

So I’m proud to announce that this year, I will be teaming up with my inspirational friend, Victoria, to raise funds for the National Stoke Association. And as luck my have it, I will return to NYC on July 19th to participate in the NYC Triathlon once again, but this time, racing for the National Stroke Association team and spreading knowledge about stoke, symptoms, and prevention!

national-stroke-awareness

The Beginning of the AIP Journey

The first full week of living the Autoimmune Paleo Diet is complete.  I feel fantastic, but this is harder than I thought…..

First thing was first.  Shopping! IMG_9229.JPG  Minus a few kid specific items, the entire cart was full of chicken, fish, fruits and veggies.  After carrying the whole car load in solo, I proceeded to clean the entire refrigerator.  That was fun. <–sarcasm.

So after prepping the kitchen for this adventure, the fun began.  The first few days were great.  I enjoyed cooking again, more so than I have in the recent months.  This journey has given me an opportunity to take fresh ingredients and be creative.  But you can only be so creative with the limited ingredients I had at my disposal.  By the end of the week, my meals ended up being the same foods, just in a different shape. Note to self: More ingredients, less bulk.

Here are a few meals from this week:

IMG_9323Asparagus and Bacon Soup

IMG_9267.JPG Carrot and Parsnip “Fries”

IMG_9278.JPGChicken and Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_9265.JPGTilapia with sautéed greens and mashed sweet potatoes.

IMG_9281.JPG coconut crumble with sautéed greens and bacon

Those were just a few of my favorites.  I did learn that after two meals of Tilapia, that I have developed an intolerance for that specific fish.  Two gnarly stomach aches followed each meal. Adios Tilapia!

The hardest part: no coffee.

I have never gone more than a couple days without coffee.  I never realized how hard it would be to cut out a morning cup of joe. I feel like an addict in rehab, actually shedding a few tears one morning.  Pathetic now that I think back to that moment of weakness.  You never realize how much your truly rely on something until it is gone. Needless to say, my green tea replacement is becoming something I look forward to each morning, late morning, early afternoon, and evening.

As far as my mood, I was pretty grumpy towards the end of last week. My wife felt the need to comment on petulant state on multiple occasions. After the weekend, my irritability seems to have subsided and for the most part, reversed.  I feel fantastic right now, have more energy and spunk than I have in weeks.  The brain fog that took up residence in my mind has vacated, if only for a little while.  And I have even, unintentionally, dropped a couple pounds.

Bring on Week 2!