Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Hello Dear Readers,

I hope you had a great long weekend. Yesterday The Boy and I started a new routine that we’re very excited about. We’re cutting the processed food and other junk out of our diets during the week. During the weekend, we can be a little more lax, but still nothing like the free-for-alls we used to have when we were following Body for Life.

We’ve also committed to exercising three times a week. I’d like to make time for running and kickboxing five times a week, but I know three times is a realistic place for me to start right now. One of the biggest challenges for me will be drinking a lot more water and other healthy drinks and scaling way back on the Diet Pepsi. I’m not a big fan of water, but I tried an experiment yesterday that actually worked out really well. I boiled a big pot of water with loose-leaf herbal tea (David’s Tea Cocomint Creme), fresh pineapple sage and chocolate mint from the garden, and a sliced lemon. Absolutely no sugar or sweeteners added. The result, as The Boy described, is like lemonade without all the sugar. It’s actually really good!

We haven’t skimped on meals, either. I broke out the ol’ hickory chips and grilled vegetables in a smoky haze, then put them in a whole-wheat pita half with low-fat feta cheese and real balsamic vinegar. Viola, dinner!

So far, I’m not craving anything, but it’s only been a day and a half. I missed my Diet Pepsi this morning but had a rooibos tea instead. They say it takes at least 21 days, if not longer, to form new habits.

What I really feel great about is that this is not a fad diet. We’re not counting calories or limiting ourselves to tiny portions, or completely eliminating an entire food group. I am going to limit grains and make sure the grains I have are as unprocessed as possible, but I know it’s completely unrealistic to think I’ll never have a plate of pasta again. This is all about being reasonable and basically avoiding the crap. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no excuse not to succeed at this.

After over a year of hardcore training, I really fell off the wagon. I left my somewhat stressful job for an extremely stressful one. Suddenly gravy seemed to be a food group. Almost every lunch came from a restaurant. Dinner was often cheese and crackers or popcorn. After a year and a half of eating like this and rarely finding the time to exercise, I’m in the worst shape of my life. It was time to take control over my health and fitness again and make them a top priority. I’m so excited that I’m doing this with my partner and best friend.

Wish me luck! I’m sure I will need it.

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to eating healthy? How do you get around it?

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Chris

    My eating challenge is a bit of a vicious circle. I typically don’t eat until the afternoon (sometimes late afternoon), then I eat the bulk of my calories in the evening so they can turn to fat while I sleep. This is pretty much the worst eating plan possible. I think my body’s been conditioned to not crave food until it gets it, at which point it wants more and more. Now that I’ve started eating earlier in the day, I’m craving food in the afternoon, which I never used to.

    So if I eat later, I take in too much food when I’m at my least active. If I eat earlier, I crave food all afternoon, and want to eat too much earlier in the day. This is my first day doing this, so I hope the afternoon cravings go away with time. I’m used to eating until I’m stuffed, so this is going to take some getting used to. But I’ll do it.

  2. Story Teller

    That’s the spirit! It is hard at first, but if you keep at it, your body will gradually adjust. Maybe if you’re still hungry after eating, try filling up on low-calorie, high-nutrient foods like carrot sticks and sugar snap peas? Vegetables can trick your body into feeling fuller longer.

    Good luck and stick with it. Thanks for commenting. <3

  3. Chris

    Except the fibre in veggies (especially carrots) that makes me feel full also makes me feel bloated. I might try the peas, though.

  4. Drew

    I found frequent small trips to the grocery store made sure I had lots of fresh, non-processed food on hand when I did a super strict, 6 week nutrition plan. Planning meals the day before helped me to not cave in and opt for take out or other convenient options.

    Also I drank a lot of water with a bit of sea salt in it, which helps the body absorb and hold it better. I think it made me feel more full.

    Good luck!


  5. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments! I love comments. 🙂

    @ Chris – I’ve been feeling that way, too. But then again, I also feel like that after eating a lot of bad food. I think our bodies will adjust if we give them a chance.

    @ Drew – that’s definitely an unusual suggestion. Never heard of that one. Might be worth a try. I agree that meal planning is a must! It’s too easy to cave for the bad crap otherwise.

  6. Michelle D. Argyle

    This is wonderful to hear! About two years ago, my hubby and I decided to start buying more veggies and incorporating them into our diet. I started buying organic and that was fun and not even that more expensive. Then, the beginning of this year, we decided to stop eating out altogether. We still eat out for lunch once in a great while, with a friend if it’s to meet up, but we rarely go out for dinner anymore, and if we’re feeling lazy about dinner, we just cook up some eggs instead of ordering pizza. We’ve been doing this since January, and we’ve already seen a huge improvement in what we spend and how we eat. It’s great! (But I do miss eating out … I love eating out, heh).

    Unlike you, I adore water, but I like a soda every now and then too. I love Coke, but it’s a treat, not a beverage.

    I hope you can keep this up! It does take dedication to eat differently and to keep it up. I’ve found the key is to let yourself eat junk once in awhile.

  7. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Michelle! I completely agree. That’s why we have weekends off. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point you are at, where you rarely eat in restaurants, because so often that’s how we socialize with friends here. But I am making healthy choices at those restaurants.

    I’ve had a terrible headache most of the week. Not sure if it’s hormones, cutting back on DP too drastically (I’m still having two cans per day), or a combination of both. But I’ve stuck to the food part of the plan. The migraines have unfortunately kept me from working out. I hope I feel better next week.

    Thanks for your support. Feel free to share your favorite healthy recipes!

  8. Michelle D. Argyle

    Lots of water might help with the headache, and yep, I’ll bet it’s from cutting back on the soda. Have you tried essential oils? Or going to a massage therapist?

  9. Story Teller

    It could be from hormones, too. I always get brutal headaches around this time. Haven’t tried essential oils or massage yet. I usually go to the chiro and massage therapist when I’m going through this, but I have so much work to get done before the writing retreat that I haven’t had the time.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  10. Lauren

    Good luck with the exercising!

    My biggest downfall is wanting to make something really awesome then getting burnt out and going out to eat. I need to find some healthy and easy alternatives :/

  11. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Lauren! And welcome to my blog.

    I can’t say this enough–and I admit I don’t always practice what I preach–but the solution to your issue is meal plan, meal plan, meal plan.

    Plan healthy meals and snacks for an entire week and make as much as you can on the weekend, before you are exhausted. When heating up something healthy for dinner is as easy as going to a restaurant, you’re more apt to do it.

    Give it a try and let me know how it goes. 🙂 Good luck!


Submit a Comment

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.