Weekly Round-Up: Cancelled Dates, Meatless Low Carb Chili, and Low-Fat Paleo Chili

Friends, it’s the weekend. We made it. And I had a whirlwind of a week.

The Dud Date

There was the date on Wednesday that wasn’t canceled but may as well have been. I nervously talked the dude’s ear off and there was little to no conversation flow. I felt like I had to think of good questions to ask him to get him talking but somehow I just kept talking. Our dynamic wasn’t good.

However, I was reminded by it of my first date with Goatee Guy. This is why Goatee Guy was on my mind Thursday morning. My first date with Goatee Guy was nothing to write home about.

Sure enough, I’d overslept by two hours. It was 8am, and I had an important meeting to get to at 9am.

Thus began an incredibly frenzied day. I didn’t shower that morning. I threw some clothes on, wrapped my hair into a quick french twist, tossed some makeup in the air and hoped it landed on the right spots on my face, and ran out the door. I was on time to my 9 AM meeting, but just barely.

I had plans to get together with a different new guy after work. His nickname is easy: the Runner, simply because he’s an avid runner. I’ll write more on him some other time. Nice guy, though. I’m sure I’ll see him again sometime soon. I was not in top form for a date, but it went fine, all things considered.

Follow-up: Romantic Joy and a Cookie

“The Runner” didn’t stick as a nickname; ultimately, he became “Goatee Guy.” And as you can see, the first date wasn’t terribly notable. Something about the guy I saw on Wednesday of this week reminded me of that first date with Goatee Guy, though. Wednesday Guy was a nice enough person, and the things that weren’t going well were things one might write off to first date nerves.

But, I haven’t heard from him, and I suppose I’m not terribly shocked or bummed out by it. So it goes, sometimes.

The Canceled Date

I do not have the same easy-going attitude about Chris (the Christopher Gorham lookalike) reaching out to reschedule our second date.

It was surprising how easily Chris and I were able to talk. I was relaxed and authentically me, and didn’t catch myself doing any of the stupid things I often do when I am a little nervous. There was no accidental false front. I was completely myself.

My Date with Chris, and a Meatless Monday Nightshade-Free Paleo Chili Recipe

Chris has impressed me from the beginning. We chatted off and on for a couple of weeks before meeting in person. When we finally did meet up this past Friday, it did not disappoint. I floated through the entire next day, gushing to anyone who would listen about how excited I was to have met someone with whom there was some chemistry.

He reached out a couple of hours after our first date to set up a second one. We made plans that night to go out next Tuesday, the 23rd, to see an art exhibit we had chatted about. There were a couple of other texts exchanged the day after, on Saturday.

My last text to him, which I sent on Saturday at around 7:30 PM, went unanswered. I knew he was heading off to a lake house and would be gone all week, although I didn’t know exactly when he was leaving. It was a tiny bit sad to not hear from him before he left. I reassured myself with thoughts of him probably wanting to reach out but not having time in the frenzy of packing the whole family up for a week long adventure.

I thought he had said he would be back on Thursday, and I was surprised and delighted to have a text from him arrive at noon that day. He must have texted me the very second he once again had cell service. I eagerly opened the message.

I’m not sure if you’ll get this but maybe… I have like one bar if I stand at the end of the dock in a certain way. In response to your question, yes, 10:30 is pretty late for me on a work night 😂…I did have a mostly good day, getting packed and ready to go. You?
Hi Jordana, I’m just getting back into cell range. That last message was from Sunday. I’m scrambling a bit at moment to get caught up with life. My mom is having some health problems, and I need to get home and get those figured out. I’m sorry to have to change plans, but would you be willing to reschedule the 23rd with me? Such bad timing 👎.

Texts from Chris

My heart sunk. And then I had to manage my self-judgment. How incredibly selfish of me to feel so disappointed. I can’t hide from my disappointment, though. I know how this story will go. I’ve been dating for a long time. Over twenty years, in fact. The pattern is always the same.

What will happen is he’ll get caught up in his life, as he should, and when things settle down it will feel odd to reach out after so long. He’ll have wanted to reach out, while everything in his life was chaotic, but when he had free moments his brain would go numb and he wouldn’t be able to think of things to say, simply because he was so spent from everything else he was dealing with. And then the free moment would pass and sending me a note would still be on his mind but would never get done.

When I was back east for my brother’s wedding I suffered from exactly those feelings. It was hard, forcing myself to send messages every once in a while just to say, “OMG, am soooo tired, did x today, will write more soon. How are you doing?” But I did it 2-3 times during that week I was gone because I know how easily a new connection can fizzle if it isn’t properly maintained.

I didn’t want my connection with him to fizzle. So, I forced myself to make that effort, to let him know I was still interested and hadn’t completely forgotten about him.

A trip for a wedding is far different, emotionally, than someone’s mom having serious health issues. That’s a far different type of mental and emotional exhaustion.

I hope I hear from Chris again. I’m hoping for the best. But, emotionally, I’m planning for the worst.

I probably am not going to hear from Chris again. It’s disappointing. It’s deflating. And it’s what I get and deserve for allowing myself to get so excited about someone after only one date.

I responded to him, of course.

Oh no that sucks, I’m so sorry. Of course, we can reschedule. Best of luck with everything and I hope your mom feels better soon.

My response to Chris

He hasn’t written back. I don’t expect he will.

Today’s Recipes

Meatless Monday Low Carb Chili: Update

I updated the Meatless Money post from earlier this week after I made the chili recipe, but in case you missed it:

Folks, this is a weird recipe. It’s an interesting and flavorful mushroom stew, more than anything else. It’s hearty and filling. It’s also incredibly salty; I’d cut down or omit the salt completely if I make it again. I’d also cut down or omit the nutritional yeast because in the quantity recommended it’s a little overpowering.

Served alone or just with avocado, this recipe doesn’t do it for me. But with some shredded chicken… well, it negates the meatless aspect of things but cuts the intensity of flavor in a nice way.

Still, I’m not sure I’ll make it again. It was fun trying, though!

30 Minute Paleo Pumpkin Chili (AIP, Whole30)

Image from Adventures of a Sick Chick

You probably know by now that I love a good all-in-one, one-pot meal. It’s one of the reasons I love making my Really Easy Paleo Chili. But since I’ve started to incorporate some elements of the autoimmune protocol (AIP) into my diet, I’ve had to eliminate certain problematic foods, like tomatoes and other nightshades. So what’s a chili-loving girl to do? Fortunately, I’ve found a way to re-create my original recipe. This easy AIP-friendly, Paleo Pumpkin Chili is delicious, nutritious, and only takes about 30 minutes to make!

Adventures of a Sick Chick, 30 Minute Paleo Pumpkin Chili (AIP, Whole30)

This blog is called “A Twist on Life” with good reason. I put my own twist on pretty much everything.

In this case, I used fat free ground turkey instead of ground beef, about a 1 1/2 cups of chopped carrot instead of 1/2 cup (I chopped up and threw in a whole large carrot, rather than measuring out some portion of it), 2 cups of beef broth instead of 1/2 cup, and frozen chopped kale instead of spinach.

Next time, I’ll probably omit the cloves, as they were a bit much in combination with the other warm spices the recipe calls for (they may work better if one uses ground beef instead of turkey, though).

Overall, I’m pretty excited about finding this recipe. I had wanted something that didn’t feel heavy in my gut and was nightshade-free, that I could cook up easily and then have leftovers from for a few days. This is it!

And while I usually doubt “30-minute” recipes, this really was done in under 30 minutes. Keep in mind, I routinely buy pre-chopped onions and rehydrate dried minced garlic rather than using fresh. Which means the only chopping that needed to get done was the carrot. This meal came together incredibly fast, and I was very impressed.

That’s all for now. In closing, I ask that you please send good vibes to my poor, lost love life. It needs all the help it can get.


  1. So…having been the one who was on the chaos end a lot…the guy I married is the one who got all of my “welcome to what my life really is” dumped on him immediately and went “ok, want to head to a canyon and scream it out sometime? I’ve been there.” It’s always a risk, but you could text him and say, “Absolutely no pressure, but if you just would like a friendly ear while dealing with the tough stuff, I’m around.” You might never hear from him again, but he might dearly wish someone *he* is interested in wouldn’t automatically not want to put in the effort when it’s rough and is only a fair weather fling…

    1. That’s a good suggestion. I’ve thought of doing that, and I think the reason I haven’t is I’m terrified of being a burden. I feel like hearing from me would be an unwelcome added item on an already full plate. It’s one of those times when I’m not sure whether that’s a valid concern or a depression/anxiety lie stemming from feelings of unworthiness. I’m a little twisted about it and would appreciate your thoughts.

      1. (Update: I took a deep breath and followed your advice. Sent this: “Are you holding up okay? Absolutely no pressure, but I am around if you want to talk. Or scream. Or just be distracted.” Thanks for the guidance.)

      2. It’s not my guidance. If it works, you have my Partner using basically exactly that to get through my own walls to thank. As I’ve said on my blog…he so could have been a therapist except, as he puts it, “but that’s more peopling than I can do in person.” 😉

      3. I’d have wanted that. Who wants to be with someone who can’t handle the hard stuff? It means a ton to me when people reach out in the tough times. Maybe he won’t get that…and that’s fine. It means maybe you don’t share communication styles and he might it difficult to reciprocate later if you you ever need it. I feel like it’ll really help…or just save you waiting on what was going to happen later anyway. You could also phrase it like “Hey, I know some people need time to hermit when tough stuff happens. If that’s you, take all the time you need to be with your family and don’t feel weird about reaching out later. But, if you actually could use a friendly ear to talk to while dealing with all this, know I’m around. No pressure either way, and I really hope things turn out the best possible for you and your family.”

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