Whole30 – 2016TD30

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

I’ve done a few Whole30 challenges before, but this time I’m looking for something a little different. I lost touch with my Paleo choices last year and I would like to reconnect with what it means to feel healthy, vibrant, and in tune with my whole self.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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Day 30 is done!

Quote of the Day: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

So there it is. The end of my 30 days. Did you make it? Did you stumble? Are you still in it? Each of us is somewhere on our own journey. I may have 30 days of blogging complete, but I have a lot more learning, loving, and eating to do. I feel at the same time both relief that I can eat without cataloging and sadness that I don’t have this piece of accountability. And more importantly, I felt connected to you out there – those who commented and even those who didn’t. I appreciate the time that you took to share a little of your day with me. I hope you are happy and well as you discover what works best for you and how you might live your life to the fullest.

The quote for today from that list I was following said, “You did it!” I happened upon the Edison quote and felt that it was a little more meaningful. So many of us stumble as we work towards leading a healthier lifestyle and we often get discouraged or think that we are failures. I can’t stress enough just how much this is not the truth. It’s a pattern I know well and sometimes I have to talk about it or blog about it to remind myself that I am not the food that I eat or the number on the scale. I am some combination of all the things I say and write and do and also all the things that are left unsaid, unwritten, and undone. We are complex, beautiful creatures and our goals and dreams are worthy of effort. So don’t give up. No matter where you are on your path, find a way to take another step forward towards that which you desire.

I’ll be back with recipes and musings in a few days, but I’d really love it if you’d like to share a piece of you in the comments.

Sending love!

Day 30 – The Details

5:00am – Black coffee

7:15am – 2 eggs, kale, 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, 1/4 avocado, salsa

11:15am – Pork and veggie stir-fry with kimchi, orange

2:00pm – Tuna with curried celery salad, blackberries

4:00pm – Darn nuts…such a fine line

6:30pm – Pork chops with sautéed apples, roasted butternut squash

Food: I wish I liked kimchi. I have tried it before and there are a lot of new brands coming out with their version so I got intrigued while at the healthfood store today and tried a new one. What’s not to love? It’s spicy cabbage with Asian flavors and it’s fermented for great health benefits. But it just doesn’t do it for me. It’s not that I dis-like it, I just don’t like it. If anyone has a brand they love, please share in case I’ve just tried the wrong one.

Mood: Good mood today. I felt super lucky to be able to check a bunch of to-dos off my list. It’s gloomy and sort of snowy and I got to workout and walk the dog and visit with friends and cook a bunch of stuff. Hard not to be happy.

Sleep: 6 1/2. I didn’t set the alarm. I could have slept in. But at 4:20 on the dot, my eyes popped open. It feels better when it happens naturally, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was early.

Activity: Cardio bootcamp / Dog walk

Focus – No food at the computer: Done!

Whole30 – 2016TD29

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

I’ve done a few Whole30 challenges before, but this time I’m looking for something a little different. I lost touch with my Paleo choices last year and I would like to reconnect with what it means to feel healthy, vibrant, and in tune with my whole self.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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Day 29 is done!

Quote of the Day: “The most effective way to do it is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart

I like this quote because fundamentally, I’m a doer. With a few procrastinating tendencies. Generally I like to get stuff done. I think that’s why I like lists so much. I have the plan, write it down, check it off, and with that comes a sense of accomplishment. When I am procrastinating, it’s generally an uncomfortable place for me to be because I know in my head that something needs to get done. Often it wears on me until I do it.

I know that sometimes we can deliberate and think about something for so long that we talk ourselves out of achieving our goals. I think about how I could have waited until I had a month ahead that was less stressful, more stable, without a tasting in the middle, before starting my Whole30, but I’m so glad that I just did it anyway. It hasn’t been at all as I envisioned it, and I’m a little disappointed that my eating wasn’t as on point as I would have liked it to be, but really in life sometimes we just need to move forward.

As I near the final days of my Whole30, I have been thinking about what comes next. Before I give a few tips for those who are attempting their first challenge or who are interested in a little guidance, I’ll share briefly what I see happening for my transition. I have reintroduced foods before and I know that sugar gives me a headache. Dairy sometimes does too. But dairy and I can play nicely together, particularly in the forms of grass-fed yogurt and kefir, grass-fed cream and butter, and high quality, artisan cheese. Rice is fine for me, but I keep it limited because of the carb levels. That, and I’m truly happy with cauliflower rice so why trade out a veggie? Gluten is a bad idea so I try to avoid it but it makes an appearance from time to time when out or visiting friends.

There is, however, an actual process to follow and the Whole30 website does an excellent job of laying it out here. It’s really about taking your time to introduce food groups and deciding if it’s okay for your body and your life. You might try adding rice, and if it goes fine, then decide how often you’d like to incorporate it. And you get to decide. Every time. Wine is not that great for me and I notice this every time I reintroduce it. But guess what? I reintroduce it every time because the pleasure that I derive is greater than the discomfort. And the discomfort (generally a headache and a little less self-control…) is not that great when I indulge consciously rather than over-indulge.

When looking at reintroduction, I think it’s really important to understand how dairy, sugar, and gluten affect you. Funnily, before going Paleo I was a big whole grains and legumes eater. That was my staple diet and I even toyed with being vegetarian for a bit – but I didn’t feel great eating like that. Once I stopped eating them, I didn’t really miss them. And I was certain I would. I have never officially reintroduced legumes, but on occasion when I eat time, there is quite a bit of digestive distress so I generally steer clear.

The reason I think it’s important to focus on dairy, sugar and gluten is because A) some people really miss dairy and knowing how it affects you can help you make a decision, B) sugar is in everything, and C) gluten can wreak a lot of havoc on our bodies. It’s worth it for me to know just how my body responds and what my limits are so that I can find the balance that works best for my life.

I hope that helps and that you find the balance that works for you. I’d love to know how it goes so please don’t hesitate to share!

Day 29 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

6:00am – 2 eggs, mushrooms, 1/2 tsp. ghee, 1/4 avocado

9:15am – Banana

12:30pm – Slaw, salsa, 3 chipotle meatballs, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 c. butternut squash soup, small handful of nuts

3:30pm – Truffle roasted cauliflower

6:00pm – Asian pork stir-fry, orange

Food: I felt a bit hungry today, which I’m not bothered by. Just noticed it. I ate more at dinner and am now beginning to wonder if the problem has been not enough at the actual meals, which led me to snack, and over-snack.

Mood: Pretty stable today. I can always tell I’m feeling more balanced when my kiddo argues with everything and I am able to handle it calmly.

Sleep: 7 1/2 hours – yay! Finally! Only took me nearly a month. It felt great.

Activity: Weights / Dog walk – maybe my mood is better because I finally got to work out.

Focus – No food at the computer: Still doing this one. I think it’s an important one long-term for me because I will be working out of my house even more starting in February. I need to break the snacking habit.

Whole30 – 2016TD28

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

I’ve done a few Whole30 challenges before, but this time I’m looking for something a little different. I lost touch with my Paleo choices last year and I would like to reconnect with what it means to feel healthy, vibrant, and in tune with my whole self.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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Day 28 is done!

Quote of the Day: “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Robert Frost

Within each of us, we have all we need to survive, succeed, thrive, grow, change, and be. Sometimes we might forget or find it difficult to bring to the surface all of the strengths and qualities we hold, but over time I have come to believe this to be true. This includes those times when we are struggling and feeling lost or depressed or frustrated, and I love how Frost puts it so beautifully. Happiness lies within. Courage lies within. Resilience lies within. We are already complete.

This doesn’t mean that we have nothing to learn. We have an infinite number of things to learn about life, ourselves, and others. The ability to tap into our curiosity and explore what is new, or reexamine what is old and discover new depths, is our gift. When we stumble, we can always get back up and try again.

Day 28 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

6:15am – 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, 1/4 avocado, cucumber, 1/2 tsp. mayo-curry sauce

10:30am – 3 chipotle meatballs, 1/4 avocado, handful of carrots

2:30pm – Celery and chicken salad with clementine and a couple walnuts

6:00pm – Beef brisket, sweet potatoes, roasted lemon-truffle cauliflower

Food: Food seemed okay. My schedule was still strange because of work, but I felt okay throughout the day.

Mood: My mood’s on the mend. 

Sleep: 7 hours. It felt great!

Activity: Squats / Yoga / Walk – and it was beautiful!

Focus – No food at the computer: Did better today.

Chicken Faux-tato Salad

Chicken Faux-tato Salad 2 2016

I can hardly call this a recipe. It’s really something that comes together with a few ingredients that I tend to have on hand, and then I’m quite flexible with the quantities. My chicken thighs were cooked on the bone and they were giant, so I only used two. But if you have frozen ones, they tend to be smaller so I’d add more. It can be different every time, too. Don’t be afraid to experiment – it’s very forgiving. If I have more celery or more pickles or fewer eggs or less chicken, it really doesn’t matter. And if I had some parsley or dill on hand, I’d have been tempted to add it. Capers could have gone in or shredded carrots – in fact all kinds of variations exist. But on this day, for this blog post, this was the combination that came together.

I have been mentoring an 11 year old girl for the past few weeks and I bring my lunch while she gets hers from the school. I noticed that she likes vegetables in general and that she’s been a little curious about what I bring. I asked if she’d like me to bring her some to try and she said yes the last time, so I brought this today. She doesn’t like cauliflower, but she loves pickles so she thought it was worth it. She skipped the cauliflower, but devoured the rest. I think the cauliflower is totally innocuous and almost like potatoes, but not everyone agrees. I think it tastes a lot like a traditional potato salad, only it’s not.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. Because I use frozen cauliflower, it’s super easy to pull together. No mess, nothing to worry about, and the cauliflower is already blanched so it’s tender. I hope you like it!

Chicken Faux-tato Salad

2-3 cooked chicken thighs, chopped

12 oz. frozen cauliflower, thawed and roughly chopped

1-2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

5-6 small pickles, finely chopped

2 large celery stalks, finely chopped

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

4 tsp. mayonnaise

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Take all of your chopped ingredients and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the mustard and mayonnaise and mix well, ensuring everything is evenly coated.
  3. Taste and add salt and pepper. It needs salt, but the pickles are salty and so is the mustard, so be sure to taste first.
  4. Once it’s the way you like it, enjoy!

Serves about 2

Whole30 – 2016TD27

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

I’ve done a few Whole30 challenges before, but this time I’m looking for something a little different. I lost touch with my Paleo choices last year and I would like to reconnect with what it means to feel healthy, vibrant, and in tune with my whole self.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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Day 27 is done!

Quote of the Day: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

What an incredible statement: “You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Those are extremely powerful words. I think it’s hard to figure out sometimes what we actually fear and what we need to overcome. We might have a tendency to barrel through situations or close our eyes and pretend the fear doesn’t exist. I know for me, sometimes I simply don’t want to admit that I’m afraid of something. I might even say to myself that it is petty or ridiculous to fear that thing.

We don’t get to choose our fears, though. Fear is an emotion. It is ours to feel. The thing about emotions is that if we allow them to move through us, they can also move out of us. We can sometimes learn to see them for what they are – an opportunity to learn about ourselves, a situation, a path to our own courage. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, acknowledging and facing that which we fear can give us strength, courage, and confidence in other moments of our lives.

When I’m struggling with my eating habits, I sometimes feel like I am building a protective layer around myself. I could do it with armor or closed off emotions or seclusion, but I tend to do it with food. When I’m feeling vulnerable, and sometimes not even actually vulnerable, but just potentially vulnerable, when I feel uncertain about my next steps or goals or even what I actually need or desire, I tend to start building that protection around my heart, my insides, all those parts that I want to keep hidden, in case they might get hurt.

The reality, however, is that building that protective shell inhibits me from living life fully, it keeps me from truly embracing the lessons that life has to offer, and it keeps me from looking fear in the face. And if I don’t do that, then I miss the chance to get stronger. The interesting thing about this blogging experience is that I put myself out there, while simultaneously feeling self-conscious about it. I want to find my healthiest self again, but I keep wanting my protective layers so I can avoid being exposed.

And what if what you fear, what I fear, is actually being successful? What a strange thing to fear, right? But I’ve noticed time and again in my life that I stop just short of actually being my most successful, for fear of …something. What, I can not exactly say.

I used the word embrace a few lines back. The moment that I wrote it, I remembered that embrace is my theme for the year. I had let it slip away a little bit. Perhaps it’s time to embrace those things that we fear – big, little, real, or imagined – and take them head on. Learn from them and then let them go. Let the fear move out and our true hearts shine through.

Day 27 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

6:15am – 2 eggs, kale, 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, cucumber, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut

1:30pm – Pepperoncini beef, butternut squash soup, 1 clementine

2:30pm – Hardboiled egg, carrots

4:30pm – Carrots

5:30pm – Handful of nuts

6:30pm – Beef brisket, apple-macadamia nut-date salad

7:00pm – Clementine

Food: Not the timing and distribution that I’d like to see. I also ate more, and more often, than I think I really needed, but I’m all over the place and not really tuned in. This entire 30 days has been a-typical. I think I need another Whole30…

Mood: Emotional. I’m trying to pretend that I’m not, though. Not sure it’s working…

Sleep: 6 hours. I would have woken up early to workout, but I’m already too short on sleep so I’m picking what feels like the right thing for me to do right now.

Activity: If anyone thinks I’m a little emotional or testy, it’s because I haven’t worked out. I’m patient though and I will find the time. A sick kid and a traveling husband along with a short-term time crunch have made it really challenging. And the weather has been beautiful so I’m itching to get outside. Maybe tomorrow!

Focus – No food at the computer: Seriously. I got up, went to the kitchen, took out some carrots, sat down at the table and munched on them wishing I were in front of the computer because I had things to do, but stuck to my plan. The interesting thing was that I realized I probably needed the break in order to take care of the things on my list with more efficiency. It’s funny how that works. Then I took a handful of nuts to the computer because … I just did. I am a work in progress.

Whole30 – 2016TD26

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

I’ve done a few Whole30 challenges before, but this time I’m looking for something a little different. I lost touch with my Paleo choices last year and I would like to reconnect with what it means to feel healthy, vibrant, and in tune with my whole self.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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Day 26 is done!

Quote of the Day: “You don’t have time to be timid! You must be bold…daring.” – Beauty and the Beast

I had an emotionally challenging day today. It was one of those times when I was really grateful for the job that I have. I had to leave the house tonight to go work at the gym, which most certainly saved me from a glass or 3 of wine. And the women that I train are remarkable people, with spirits that brighten my day. So I am thankful for them for helping me on this journey.

Day 26 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

6:15am – 2 eggs, kale, salsa, 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut

12:00pm – Chicken with mushrooms and artichokes, salad, 2 clementines

3:00pm – Banana, hard-boiled egg

5:00pm – Pepperoncini beef and roasted Brussels sprouts

Food: Nothing exciting with food. I was out most of the day and very busy. Didn’t have much time to think about it.

Mood: My heart hurt today for children who need moms who love them. Food, one way or the other, could not impact it. I am still blue, still emotional. I am hoping sleep will help.

Sleep: 6 1/2 hours. I don’t know how or when to get more than that right now.

Activity: A few squats and sprints. It was going to be nothing again, but like I said, I have a great job. I got a little bit in with my training groups.

Focus – No food at the computer: Another day successful here.

Whole30 – 2016TD25

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

I’ve done a few Whole30 challenges before, but this time I’m looking for something a little different. I lost touch with my Paleo choices last year and I would like to reconnect with what it means to feel healthy, vibrant, and in tune with my whole self.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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Day 25 is done!

Quote of the Day: “Be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Theresa

Bit by bit, little by little, the choices we make and the changes we put in place are what ultimately get us to our goal.

I work in a gym so we see a lot of new year’s resolutions in action at the beginning of the year. The other night, someone mentioned how crowded the gym was and how it wouldn’t last. I’ve heard this before, but I always answer in the same way. I love it. I love the crowds being there – even though it makes my job a little more challenging. That’s not the point. And the fact that some of those people will only be there for one week or three or two months…that doesn’t bother me either. I know that it took me years – and years and years – to have my exercise so well entrenched that it is a part of who I am. I know that I was once one of those new year’s resolutions that didn’t stick.

What I believe is important is all in the trying. So what if that person tries for a couple weeks and gets derailed? They tried. And I’d be willing to bet that they’ll be back again. We can’t predict when that will be, of course, but I always believe that at some point it will click for that person. They’ll realize that they need to be active forever because that’s how we are meant to be. We are meant to move and sweat in some way, in whatever way works for us, and sometimes it takes some time to figure that out.

If that means finding time to walk or discovering that you love yoga or to hike or to run, or if that means getting onto a basketball or volleyball team or in a cycling group or whatever – I hope that you discover what you love and then find a way to do it.

It’s the small things. Right now I’m pretty derailed due to scheduling and a few other challenges, but I’m doing what I can when I can and not getting too discouraged that sometimes that’s nothing. I know that the foundation is there and maybe tomorrow or maybe Thursday it will come together again for me.

The same goes for healthy eating choices. It’s not so much about the grand gesture, and on the flip-side, it’s not so much the wine in a recipe or the sugar in the BBQ sauce, but rather the small things we do most of the time. It’s about healthy breakfasts and energizing lunches and satisfying dinners with sugar and processed food to a minimum.

It’s about 10 minutes of meditating because I don’t have 20. It’s about breathing when I mess up and forgiving when I need it.

The little things. And love. Over and over it’s about love. Of self, of others, of health, of life, of pleasure, of rules and challenges, of spontaneity and creativity. Love.

Day 25 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

6:15am – 2 eggs, slaw, 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut

12:15pm – Chicken Faux-tato salad

2:00pm – 2 clementines, macadamia nuts

5:00pm – Beef with pepperoncinis and roasted cauliflower

Food: I really wanted to make something from the list of slow cooker dishes that I posted on Facebook last night and I had the 2 ingredients for the pepperoncini beef. It totally worked! Tangy and meaty – and all I did was pour a jar of pepperoncinis that I had on hand over some beef that I had in the freezer. Stupid easy.

Mood: I have to admit, my mood, while fine, is not over the moon full of energy right now. When I interact with people it is, but when I’m on my own I’m a little more introspective. I’m not a brilliant multi-tasker. I can do it, and I can work quickly and efficiently, but it wears on me. It’s not my favorite way to go through life. I’ve been dreaming about taking some time, an afternoon or a day, to sit somewhere beautiful and just be when things calm down a bit.

Sleep: 6 hours. I went to bed late last night and morning came at the same time as usual. I was pretty sleepy in the afternoon.

Activity: Another hard day of nothing. This is normally my rest day, but I’m a little sad.

Focus – No food at the computer: I am so glad this is my focus right now! It’s really interesting. I’m not loving it, but I am respecting it.