Friday Things

1. Lest I mislead any of you into thinking that one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to blog every day, I’ve moved this week’s Thursday Things to Friday. Either that, or I spent too much of my computer time on Wednesday researching shampoos that will combat the perma-dirtiness that comes with what I’ve concluded is hard water in my apartment to write a blog post. My BFF Google helped has confirmed my suspicion that we’re plagued with hard water, especially after reading this:

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 3.42.16 PM

Story of my LIFE.

After spending almost two full weeks at home with our beautifully soft water, I couldn’t get over how nice my hair looked, felt, and acted compared to what I’m used to. Since buying a probably-expensive shampoo seems to be more cost-effective than going home every weekend for the exclusive purpose of washing my hair, I’m now on a quest to find something that will let me wash my hair without dreading the outcome: a quest that proved time-consuming enough to keep me from having time to write a blog post for Thursday. My bad.

2. An added benefit of buying a hard water shampoo: most of the ones I’ve found are also recommended for swimmers. I haven’t been lap swimming since last April, but I really want to get back in the pool as soon as possible. I’ve got my sights set on an indoor triathlon this winter (a much more reasonable option than an outdoor triathlon for this bike-less girl), but I think attempting an indoor tri with no swimming base to speak of could be disastrous. I also really enjoy swimming for fitness as a way of breaking up my usual running/elliptical/stat bike cardio routine, so win win. Now I just need to muster up the confidence to actually get myself to a pool. I have an irrational fear of going to a pool where I’ve never been before because I don’t know the standard code of conduct, and I hate feeling like a newbie. That’s probably not a good enough reason to not swim, though, especially since I want to do an indoor tri.

3. I’ve made a couple of interesting food discoveries in the past couple of days. I had to go bare-bones grocery shopping when I got back to the city to hold me over until I had time to do my usual grocery shopping, and I really wanted clementines. My Jewel didn’t have any, though, so on a whim I bought cara cara oranges, figuring they’d be just like any other orange I had ever tried. Imagine my surprise, then, when I peeled my first orange on Wednesday and discovered that they look like this:


Who knew?

I’ve also recently toyed with the idea of reducing dairy in my diet. I’ve had pretty awful acne since I was a preteen, and over Thanksgiving my dermatologist put me back on an antibiotic I used to take. I’m reeeeeeeally not into antibiotics, but I’ve tried just about everything to help my face, and the antibiotics are the only things that make a difference. However, I noticed recently that my stomach would get all sorts of grumpy when I took the antibiotic after having dairy at breakfast. My dermatologist has also been all over my case for a long time for drinking milk as often as I do, since the hormones in dairy don’t do acne any favors. Those two things, in combination with the fact that all the milk at Jewel had an outdate of January 2 when I went shopping on January 1, convinced me to give almond milk a shot this week. And I kid you not: my first thought after taking of sip of almond milk was, “Wow, this isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. It actually tastes kind of nutty.”

Well DUH. It’s made from almonds. Of course it tastes nutty! Not one of my brighter moments.

Any exciting weekend plans?
Have you made any unexpected or interesting food discoveries lately?

20 thoughts on “Friday Things

  1. Ya we are the same person. So my hair was all soft at home – I get back to my apartment and BAM I want to rip it out again. even my softening shampoo does nada. Boo boo boo. I went bare bones for two days before I got grocery shopping and I sadly had to avoid buying any fruit, it is so dang expensive. Like when did that happen? even apples were expensive. sad day on my end. Now let me tell you the story of antibiotics, I have been on way too many to mention this year between a random foot infection, root canals and mouth infections ( I am one awesome lady). Antibiotics are what cause the tummy problems, not the dairy. antibiotics basically rip apart your digestive system. If i was a doctor I could explain this but I am not so let’s just say it tears it down. I always get diarrhea from it and can’t handle lots of food.

    our humor is like identical when we do complaining posts, just saying.

    • You would think shampoo companies would do something about this, you know? If the comments of this post have shown me anything, it’s that I am not by any means the only one with this problem. Wouldn’t it be logical to make shampoo that works well with hard water? I should go work for a shampoo company and propose that.

      I think my antibiotic just reacts to a lot of dairy in my system, because when I’d have something like eggs and toast for breakfast, I was a-ok taking my medicine. Milk and cereal, however (or even worse, yogurt and cereal) was bad news bears on the nausea front. I really wish there was some other way to combat my acne, because antibiotics (and medicine in general) just is NOT my thing, but I can’t deny the difference they make, so it’s either looking like a 13 year old boy or sucking up my pride and taking the medicine. So medicine it is, at least for the time being. Surely someday my face will calm down…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • There are a TON of indoor tris at gyms all around Chicagoland this time of year ( I plan on doing an FFC one, though I haven’t decided which one I’d like to do yet. They’re a little pricey compared to what I normally pay for races, but they’re cheaper than a lot of “real” triathlons, especially because you don’t need a USAT membership to participate (at least as far as I can tell), which a lot of outdoor tris require.

  2. I felt the same way about going to the pool when I belonged to a gym! Turns out I found times when it wasn’t busy and that helped my pool anxiety. Of course, I’m still a horrible swimmer.

    My husband has been taking antibiotics for his acne for YEARS. He’s tried every over the counter and RX med (minus Accutane) and the antibiotics are the only things that help. We switched over to almond milk last year but he rarely drinks it anyway so not sure his is dairy related.

    • Yeah, my swimming DEFINITELY leaves a lot to be desired. I wouldn’t even put my head underwater when I swam in my college pool haha. I’m basically just a flopping disaster.

      Yeah, I’m right there with your husband. You can pretty much name any brand of OTC acne washes, creams, gels, whatever with any kind of composition (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide in varying percentages), and nothing ever worked at all. Even when my dermatologist took me off the antibiotic about a year and a half ago and kept me on the prescription strength face gel thingie, that didn’t do the trick. The only thing that works is antibiotics for me. Annoying for sure, but I’ll do what I have to do to not look so much like a 13 year old boy all the time.

  3. I used to be on the swim team in college and I used the hard water shampoo for my hair. It really was harsh on my hair. That orange looks very weird. This weekend I plan on going shopping for some things and I have long run. Have a great weekend 🙂

  4. I swear by head and shoulders to prevent greasy build up in hair, I don’t have dandruff but started using it when I was swimming and realized how much of a difference it made when showering in my apartment in Chicago. Plus, it’s cheaper than swim shampoo.

    I feel the same way about trying new gyms/pools, my advice is to go at a weird time on a Saturday or Sunday when the area might be less busy and you have more time to familiarize yourself with things.

    Eliminating dairy has definitely helped my skin! I do have the occasional breakout but my skin tone is much more even and looks a lot healthier!

  5. I don’t think I knew that Cara Cara Oranges looked like that either! They’re so pretty. You’ve got me wondering about my water back home. I felt that way, like my hair wasn’t getting clean when I did the same thing I do here. Probably hard water. Who knew? So, I am a huge advocate of cutting out dairy. It has helped my tummy troubles more than anything else I have taken out of my diet. It cleared up my brother’s skin too. Well, he still eats some dairy but only raw organic stuff that gets directly from farmers. He’s really uptight about that stuff. I just don’t eat it. That’s cheaper and easier in my opinion. Good luck helping your skin and tummy!

    • They’re definitely unique! It made me so happy each time I peeled one and saw how unexpectedly red/pink they looked. You can imagine my disappointment, then, when I opened my orange today and discovered I had apparently purchased a regular orange in place of a cara cara. LAME (and much harder to peel!).

  6. so glad you finally got down to the bottom of the greasy feeling hair – that can be so frustrating! I had always wondered about the water and its affects, but thats interesting about hard water; i’ll have to remember that because i’ve suffered the same issue, and it is such a pain!

    • SUCH a pain. From all the Googling I’ve done, this seems to be a relatively common problem, which just baffles me. Don’t shampoo companies think they could be more successful by creating shampoos designed to deal with hard water so people could, you know, actually get clean hair with their product haha. What a crazy concept! 😛

  7. I’ve had terrible skin my whole life and I’m trying to cut dairy from my diet to see if it makes a difference. I already don’t drink cow’s milk because it upsets my stomach, so the only thing left to cut is cheese and yogurt (so sad) … Also I want to switch from soy milk to almond because soy has hormones.

    When I worked at the Olive Garden (years ago), we had to taste (or smell, if we were underage) new wines when they would roll them out. I was at one wine tasting/smelling sessions, and they were trying to get us to talk about the wine and the flavors, and they were like “what does this taste like?” and I said “grapes!” thinking I was all smart. Then I realized … duh … wine … grapes.

    • Yeah, for me “cutting down on dairy” is really more like “cutting down on milk.” I suppose I did cut down on cheese last week, too, but that was 100% because I didn’t have any sandwich meat in my apartment, and call me crazy, but a peanut butter + cheese sandwich never sounded appetizing 😛 But I guess getting rid of a little bit is better than keeping it all in when it’s bugging you, right?

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