Day 1: Raw Almonds

You can learn a lot about people through their photos. And as I’m posting my first photo out of 365 for the year 2014, I have a feeling many of you will learn things you never knew about me.

But this 365 photo-a-day challenge seems like a great self-reflection for many people, as well. I often find myself in a situation where other people recall memories that I’ve simply forgotten, or memories that I never considered of much importance. It’s easy to live day-by-day not thinking anything particularly remarkable about one’s life—but there’s always something.

I’ve thought about doing this before due to some inspiration from Facebook, but I would always either forget or push it off until the New Year. Well, it’s January 1, 2014, and I’ve a fresh start. We all do. Thankfully, this morning I stumbled upon Cesar Kuriyama’s TED talk on filming one second every day and remembered that I had planned to do this but, of course, forgot. (I don’t plan to film a second of every day for the rest of my life just yet. I’m starting small.)

So here I go. My first photo: raw almonds.

Raw Almonds
Slowly easing myself into the paleo diet with raw almonds.

When a friend of mine told me recently that she had begun trying out the paleo diet (2013’s most-searched diet, by the way), I immediately decided that I would try it out, too. After all, I had just finished a year-in-review post reflecting on my horrible-yet-improving diet, and this diet does not seem as dramatic as the juice cleanse or any other fad diet that seems more unhealthy than healthy. Later that night, I did what I felt was a ton of reading and research on the diet, and while there are, as with every diet, skeptics, I couldn’t deny that cutting out sugars would be good best for me. I told my friend that I would start on January 1, but then I realized I still had half a tub of Greek yogurt, some of my favorite Bear Naked granola, and Kashi cereal left in my kitchen. (Plus, my mom just cooked up a batch of red beans to add to my daily oatmeal breakfast). But the thing is, I had known that I would still have non paleo-approved food left over by today when I made this “promise,” but I just didn’t feel the need to face up to the issue until, well, today.

So instead of delaying the diet completely until Sunday or Monday, when I’m guessing I will finish this non-paleo food, I’ll be slowly easing myself into the diet. I had to make a Wegmans run today for my parents, so while I was there, I bought some raw almonds (had no idea they would be so expensive—$12 for an average-sized tub), squash, spinach for salad, mushrooms, and organic marinara sauce for the paleo spaghetti squash (yeah, I could make my own sauce, but again, easing myself into this). I’m still very excited to begin this diet, because I need to cook more (or if I’m being honest with myself, learn to cook), and after discovering some seemingly delicious recipes, I don’t consider this diet too much of a stretch. One of the few challenges I foresee is my mother, whom I’ve told about this diet but cutting out rice for an Asian parent is simply an unimaginable concept. I haven’t even officially begun going 100% paleo, and she has already been nagging me about not eating enough rice. Oh, Asian parents.

Another challenge? Avoiding Starbucks—specifically, its soy chai lattes. I wish I weren’t so addicted to that particular drink or discovered the wonders of replacing milk with soy (not that either is paleo-friendly), because I really don’t have that strong of an urge with any of its other drinks. In fact, I’m 100% sure that the only reason I finally reached its gold rewards level is because of this evilly delicious drink. And being a gold member only adds to the challenge (read: torture), since I can’t give up on a free or 50%-off drink reward. I guess, however, that if I don’t frequent the place much, then I won’t receive rewards. Plus, I’m really just trying this diet out until I leave for Shanghai in early February (with a week off for a vacation to Panama in January), so I can still manage to maintain my gold status afterward, though I will definitely try my hardest to limit myself more—wait, let me be more committed and definitive than “more,” and say, two or three times a week during the summer and fall (because students still need caffeine, right?).

Anyway, so much for letting a photo speak for itself.

Return tomorrow for day two’s photo 🙂