Sunday, January 7, 2018

Scene & Story - December 2017

I took this photograph on a particularly cold and snowy day in December. I had been to the gym early and stopped at the grocery store on the way home for a few necessities. I was over by the almond butter and bread when I saw the brightly lit case of fresh(ish) muffins next to the deli counter. I needed something for my 365 Photography project anyway, so why not. Even for "freshish" it was delicious.

Yesterday, when I started thinking about writing this post, I wanted to jump through the screen and devour that double chocolate muffin with those large chunks of granulated, crispy sugar on top. It is best that I don't even begin to describe the chai latte that is in the muted shades of green, blue, and rust hand thrown mug from my favorite potter in Leland, Michigan. Because if I start to think about HOW much I am missing my chai lattes, I will go upstairs and make one right now.

Why this suffering? My husband and I are doing the Whole 30 Lifestyle change in January. If you have never heard about Whole 30 you can check out information here. Basically it is an elimination diet, and a gut reset diet for 30 days. No dairy, no gluten, no alcohol, and no sugar. You don't realize how many things have sugar in them, until you start reading labels.

So, what can you eat? Eggs...lots and lots of eggs. Can I say at Day 6, I am tired of eggs. But you can also eat meat, almost all vegetables and all fruit.

The good thing is that there are so many recipes out there for Whole 30. I think this "diet" has been around for a few years now. Manufacturer's are catching on that this is a niche market, and creating products that are Whole 30 compliant. There is even No Sugar bacon out there now, thank heavens, but you have to get to the grocery store early to get it, because every other Whole 30 participant wants the bacon too.

So, why are we torturing ourselves like this? First, after the holidays and all the sugar, we needed a reset. But also to figure out what might be causing some intestinal issues my husband has been having for the past couple of years, we are pretty sure it boils down to food triggers. Once the 30 days are over, we will slowly reintroduce foods, and note how our bodies react to them. When the food triggers have been figured out, we can then eliminate them all together, or chose when we want to pay the price and have something.

Like I said we are only six days in, and haven't reached the rewarding days yet. We have been through the craving days, the crabby days, the mental fog days, but we are nearing the end of them, so we keep going, taking it one sugarless day at a time, one egg at a time.

Interested in recipes? Check out my Pinterest board of saved recipes here.

End Notes

Adding a new section to share some things that I am working on...

  1. To torture myself further, I signed up for a food photography class last week, this is the class. After all, it is January and it is winter, I have to find something to photograph inside, and if I can make eggs look good, maybe I will like them more.
  2. Xanthe Berkeley's Make Films class starts this week, so excited. I have already started working on my next film - A Day in the Life of Findley. If you missed my first film, you can view it here.
  3. We painted our bedroom over the holidays, it only took us a year since we started talking about it. So proud of ourselves though, we got all my photographs hung on the wall the next day, this never happens. 
  4. The kitchen project will be starting soon. Went and picked out countertops, backsplash and flooring last week. 

The End

This is the last Scene & Story Link-Up. Lee and I want to thank every one who joined us in 2017, sharing your stories and your favorite photographs. I feel like we learned a lot about you all through your stories, and hopefully you learned a little about us too. My wish is that you keep taking photographs and thinking about the stories surrounding them, continuing to share them somewhere. 


  1. First of all, I love the still-life images you've created around that beautiful mug.
    Well done for doing a Whole 30 Lifestyle change, starting in January. I hope that it will be helpful to you in showing which food elements are not suitable for you and your husband.
    I'm back to healthy eating again now that all the Christmas treats are no longer around. This mostly means eliminating sugar and reducing carbs.

    Sarah, I wanted to thank you and Lee for organizing these monthly Scene & Story get-togethers here on your blog. I have so enjoyed doing them with you all and reading the stories of others. I shall miss them! But I know that I shall continue writing, in whatever form it takes.

  2. I love your photo, Sarah. Just three simple elements telling a story. I'm focusing on healthy eating, too. Waaaay too much sugar was consumed over the holidays, leaving me feeling fat and sluggish, and bad weather and a bad car battery has kept me from getting to the gym. Time to get back on track! Your "Developments" section is impressive! As usual, I'm inspired to get going myself! Thanks for sharing this year of Scene & Story, Sarah. It's really been fun doing it together! I hope everyone will keep photographing and keep writing, as Sandra commented above.

  3. I've thought about doing the Whole 30 - but would definitely need to have Greg in on it with me. I'll be interested in hearing if it makes any positive changes in the way you feel and eating habits longer term. I need to kick the sugar habit. I understand this torture - but your photo must have really been torture for you, right now. I would like to jump into that photo, also!

  4. love your photo and story, good luck on the 30, these days everything has sugar, are you allowed to eat fruit? I would love to try linking up with your group, never have done it so I'm not sure how, but will research it

  5. I wish you luck on the Whole 30 adventure, but I suspect if you've made it past the detoxing period, you've both started to feel more powerful. Once you feel who you really are without the food triggers, you stop missing those things so much. I'm happy to hear that you're doing this as a couple. It is easier when all the people are on board. :) Looking at the light in your lovely muffin photo didn't even make me sad or crave sugar. I suggest Danielle Walker's Against All Grain cookbook as a possible resource wen you figure out what's making your husband sick. Also a Functional Medicine doctor can order labs that tell you exactly how gluten, casein, etc. affect your bodies. It might save you the confusion of re-introducing foods. Also, photography happens to be one of my go-to sugar replacements.

  6. I will miss these Scene and Story posts! I have enjoyed each one with such interesting and beautiful photos and thought-provoking stories. Thank you so much for sharing your talents!

  7. You both had a wonderful series here. I enjoy reading both of you and love your photo's..I learned a long time ago..(when I lost my 100 pounds) that muffins were one of the most deadly, least nutritious food we could ever eat. I have not had one since. It's sort like you can fool yourself until you know the value...and then if you eat's a choice. Good luck. I like the sounds of the thirty day...I will look it up. I think we all need a little shake-up after the holidays...thanks for sharing Sarah.

  8. Good luck on your Whole 30 journey - how did you even manage to take this delicious photo? I hope you can find out which foods are the ones that aren't good for you/your husband. I looked at your Pinterest board and the food choices actually look quite yummy. I have never heard of cauliflower rice and will definitely find out how you make this.
    Your developments are quite impressive - I feel rather sluggish compared to that. The food photography class looks interesting and very tempting and I know that we will see some wonderful food photography from you in the future.
    Thank you for Scene & Story - I will miss it in the new year. However, I certainly won't stop taking photos.

  9. Seems I'm with everyone else, consumed a little too much sugar this holiday season and trying to get back on track. Wishing you well on the photography classes you're taking. I hope you share your pictures with us! Many thanks to you and Lee for hosting this linkup! I have enjoyed this group of photographers and writers!

  10. Wishing you the very best with the Whole 30, Sarah! I know a lot of people who have had great success with it. I've not tried it because I run, and it took me a very long time to "construct" a way of eating that didn't affect my running in a negative way. I need my carbs!

    I saw a video about the food photography class a couple of days ago. It looks like a good one for sure, and Xanthe's classes are always good. Have fun with them, and I hope you'll post some of what you're doing here.

    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  11. I will miss the Scene and Story link-up. Thank you for doing this and helping me to review my photos monthly and think about them. I love your still life and other photography. You and the others who have participated in the link-up have been an inspiration to me. Thank you.

  12. So not where I thought this post was going - knowing that you love to explore local cuisine! I’ve heard of this program but am not sure that I am that disciplined. So I’m choosing more whole grains, veggies, fruit & water.

  13. I can't believe it has been a year of Scene and Story. I haven't been able to make them all, but I have enjoyed the link-up and will miss it. Sending thoughts of strength your way to help you through your new diet. I think it is one we all should try to see how our bodies react to foods. I would just need the whole family in on it. Did you say no wine? Never mind, I'm out. :) Although we have cut a lot of gluten out of our diet and my husband's gut issues are a lot better. Happy New Year!

  14. Adding my heart felt thanks to you and Lee for hosting Scene and Story. Although I didn't participate each month, I sure did look forward to reading them. Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year.

  15. Kudos to you. I don't think I could stand sugar withdrawal. And who knew bacon had sugar added. Oh my. I learned that about Ketchup and found a brand that didn't add sugar. Now I need to watch bacon too. I guess I better read labels better. Good luck on your 30 days!

  16. Now I want a yummy muffin and chai! And I LOVE BACON! Good for you, Sarah! I have been trying to get my hubby away from the sweets. After the holidays is a good time to start, too. Aloha, and Happy New Year 2018!

  17. A couple friends of mine recently did the Whole30 . . .
    Hope you glean some things, hubs too . . .
    Miss Sugar can certainly be a culprit . . .
    The other day I heard we need more salt . . .
    A vegan friend says no meat, no cheese, no eggs . . .
    Confusing . . .
    I drink bunches of water . . .

  18. Hey I love hot tea, I love your blog, and way you write the article ...very nice collection..I love photography and tasty food here are mouth-watering-shot food photography


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)