The morning you feel awake

morning sunlight on autumn foliage

6:30 this morning, I got up and went for a run. This is not like me at all. OH GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING. I’m worried this is my body’s swansong before I die of some mysterious unknown illness. But it’s likely just a random event when I happened to feel awake.

Before that, I lay in bed thinking about what to say in my exit interview. At work, after you give notice, you’re sent an auto-generated form asking why you’ve decided to leave. It’s generally assumed your answers never get read, since you don’t get much indication if your feedback makes a difference. It’s an interesting process, anyway. I think I would prefer it face-to-face with a trusted HR advisor, but in a big company, it must be easier to get people to process themselves.

Anyway, I got a new job. :))) Positive change is motivating, which could be why I feel awake.

Or it could be the weird massage I had the other day.

red marks on my back from gua sha scraping therapy

It’s called Gua Sha, known as “coining” or “scraping”.

I had no idea what it was when the therapist did it to me. She spent the whole session calling me “baby”, which I’m sure was a mistranslation of xiao jie (meaning “little miss”). When she pulled out a coin from her purse and asked if my boyfriend “would mind”, I was quietly freaking out but curious about what she planned to do. So I told her it was fine, she splashed Chinese smelly oil on my back and started scraping with the coin. It felt pretty good.

Embarrassing as it is to admit, I’m quite a white-washed Chinese person. I know little about my culture, and have some Western skepticism of traditional treatments. However, I’ve found I’ve been unusually energetic since being gua sha-ed. I’d assume it’s placebo, but I keep forgetting about it until I stop to wonder why I’m feeling more awake. I thought I felt a cold coming on beforehand too, and that seems to have disappeared.

I want to try it a few more times to be sure I’m not making it up, but I’m open to this being possibly amazing. Just because I don’t understand the science doesn’t mean it’s not valid science. And I don’t want to over-science myself out of a way to have a few nice, healthy days.

a yummy spread of tapas dishes

Speaking of healthy, I’ve been eating Primal-er since February now and I’m enjoying it. Bread is still a dilemma, especially around fresh, warm Turkish bread. But I’ve become more sure of my lactose vs gluten thing after reading how gluten-damaged guts struggle to process lactose. I’ll give it a bit longer then test with some creamy Guernsey milk.

The social side of this eating experiment has been just as interesting. Compared to what I got as a vegetarian, and as a pork-eater in a non-pork community, there have been more noticeable implications. Hard to tell if it’s society at large or the company I’m in, or maybe it’s that I’ve been more open about it this time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care to make constant fuss about my eating choices, but I have been more willing to share the things I come across.

I’ve found being vegetarian or pork-particular is reasonably easy to go unnoticed. But gluten and processed sugar are so much everywhere that there’s an air of being a rebel no matter what you do. Just turning down a piece of cake invites the moonlight food experts out of the woodwork. Even when a menu invites me to ask about gluten-free options, I feel like such a weirdo. Steakhouses and Asian food places run by health-conscious wise old aunties are easy and amazing; beyond that, it can get tiresome. But I’m feeling awake about food because there’s so many new things to learn.