Whole45@45 – Day 7

time will pass anyway

I can not believe that a whole week has passed already! This has been surprisingly easy, and I’m assuming that has a lot to do with you out there. Thinking and writing about this journey has kept me wholly engaged without any desire to deviate. I’m grateful that it hasn’t been hard and that I haven’t had any cravings to work through. I’m sure it will happen over the course of this, but so far so good!

We had some friends over for a full English breakfast today, which I modified a bit so that it fit my needs. Then we spent the day out with them and didn’t end up getting back home until 3pm. Breakfast had been late, close to 9, and I packed a few plums and apricots to share so that I wasn’t starving. I forgot to pack a bar, but it turns out I only started to get really hungry a little after 2pm. I ate a really big lunch and that will probably be it for the day. Maybe a bite of protein or something a bit later but I don’t anticipate a full dinner. I love the feeling of not worrying too much and having stable blood sugar throughout the day. My energy felt pretty even too.

I thought I’d share a quick list of what I ran to the grocery store for in case you were needing some inspiration. I don’t really have a plan for these things but they’ll appear in breakfast, lunch, or dinner at some point. I got a rotisserie chicken for tonight so that if anyone needed anything they could grab that as well as pre-cut broccoli, pre-cut cauliflower, slaw mix, baby spinach, mushrooms, snap peas, avocadoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, and eggs.

In the fridge I already have some broccoli roasted and ready to go, plus some hard boiled eggs and now some chicken. Everything else will fall into place over the week. I might pick up some beets because I ate the last of them today and I’ve been loving a cucumber-beet salad I made for breakfast the other day.

I hope you all had an amazing weekend and are gearing up for a week of healthy living and lots of loving!

Shine bright. xo

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – Eggs, sausage, English bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Snack – Plum, Apricot

Lunch – Sausage / Roasted broccoli / Cucumber, beet, onion, HB egg, avocado salad with sherry vinaigrette / a few raspberries

Dinner – Probably some chicken

What did I do for exercise today?

Well today was a rest day and it felt great! It’s important to let the muscles and mind recover sometimes and today was that day.

 

 

 

 

Whole45@45 – Day 6

sleepingLast night went as well as could be expected. There was nothing at the concert that I could eat, but I’d had enough of a snack to not worry about it and I drank a ton of water. Because I was focused on the company and the atmosphere, I didn’t even think about it.

But last night we got very little sleep because we were home super late and I had to get up to work in the morning. I am a really good sleeper so when I’m short an hour or two, I really feel it. Five hours is simply not enough for me. And really it’s not good for anyone.  At least seven is better to aim for.

When we are short on sleep, our hormones get disregulated and it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to determine true hunger levels. Because we are tired, the brain keeps signaling for more food, preferably sugary carbs, so that it can feel more alert. We also might feel cranky and irritable or lethargic and like something as simple as making a healthy meal is just too much.

What I have found works best for me when I’m tired is to first of all, make sure that I get enough water. It can help regulate things and keeps me from also being dehydrated and then confusing thirst for hunger on top of any other hormonal miscues. I also try to eat a really good breakfast, including a few extra carbs like I did today with some sweet potato, and then I pay attention to what feels right in terms of physical activity. I ended up working out this morning, although I wasn’t sure that I would. I woke up with a headache, knew I was tired, and had decided to just go with how my body felt. Sleep deprivation is already a stressful state for your body so adding intense exercise on top isn’t always the right solution. It’s important to pay attention.

Missing sleep can cause an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, and it can cause you to eat more than you need. Both of those scenarios don’t lend themselves to becoming your healthiest self. If you feel like it’s hard to reach your health, wellness, and aesthetic goals, check your sleep. It might be right there in one extra hour. If you can’t get it at night, a nap can help too. Just get some sleep. It can make all the difference in the world!

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – 2 eggs, cucumber, beet, avocado, sweet onion, sherry vinegar, olive oil / chunk of sweet potato

Post-workout snack – 1/2 Rx bar / Apple

Lunch – Chicken, celery, bell pepper, avocado, raisins, onion, walnuts, mustard, vinegar, mayo, lavender salt

Snack – Apricot

Dinner – Chipotle salad with steak and guacamole / Plum

What did I do for exercise?

HIIT workout at the gym and walked the dog. Starting to find my groove again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole45@45 – Day 5

keep goingI was so tired this morning when the alarm went off. All I wanted was to roll over and go to back to sleep. Fridays are early – I work at the gym at 5am and I went to bed just a little bit later than usual last night because I was reading and snuggling with my son. Totally worth it, but I feel it when I’m twenty minutes on the other side of my normal bedtime. That being said, it could also be the fact that I’m five days in to this Whole45 and my body is working hard to make the adjustments necessary to switch from using a constant supply of carbohydrates for energy to using fat stores instead. Either way, 4am came especially early today.

On the flip side, once I was up and showered and moving, I can tell that my mood is starting to shift. I’m a naturally cheerful person generally, which I’m really grateful for. Most of the time, my moods are pretty even. However, when I’m eating right and exercising and treating myself well, it always shines through. My best friend in California notices it every time. We don’t see each other often but we talk on the phone regularly, and when I’m in a good place with eating and exercise, she comments on it without fail. I am not sure what it is exactly, but it feels like a sense of lightness and I simply approach life and conversations with that brighter approach. I might not notice it if she didn’t comment on it or if, like today, I weren’t being more vigilant about changes that I’m experiencing in order to share them throughout this journey. So anyway, I feel bubbly, which may or may not be annoying to those around me, and also like I could take a nap at any moment.

On top of that, we are going to a concert tonight and we were invited to be in an executive suite. That usually means there will be food and drinks and things I generally don’t want to eat. The concert also starts nearly at my bedtime (like 8! I know…) so there will be some coffee in my life today. I’m looking forward to the evening and I don’t feel worried about what there will be to eat…yet. Mostly I just need to have a plan.

Since it does start a little later, I will be sure to have something to eat before arriving and I am taking an RxBar for an emergency snack. I think I will also pack some fruit and snap peas and maybe a hard boiled egg in a cooler for the drive home in case I need a snack to keep me awake, which is highly likely. Anyway, I’ll let you know how it all goes tomorrow.

A couple notes on my eating on Day 5. I could not get full today. I didn’t have any plantains or sweet potato or other starchy carb available at breakfast so I added an extra egg. And at lunch, I just kept feeling hungry. So I ate more protein than usual, added an extra piece of fruit, had some extra broccoli, and finally had a small handful of macadamia nuts. I am not sure if it’s the lack of starchy carbs or because it is Day 5 and my body is looking for excess carbs and there aren’t any. I have had this same thing happen in previous Whole30s so I am not too worried about it. I just listened to my body, ate more, stayed within my eating guidelines, and am waiting for the shift to occur. I’m imagining that by sometime next week, I will have switched over to being more fat-adapted rather than cruising for carbs and it will all settle down.

I hope you have an amazing rest of your day! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts, questions or things you want to share.

Shine Bright! xo

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – 3 eggs, cabbage, avocado stuffed bell pepper slices

Post workout snack – the rest of the Perfect bar from the other day

Lunch – Slaw with shredded beef, sweet onion, beets, avocado, peaches, mint and white balsamic vinegar (Strange combo but really tasty. I heated the beef and cabbage together so the slaw was wilted.) / Roasted broccoli / Apricot / About 4 raw macadamia nuts

Dinner – No idea. I will have to report back. I’ll be taking some things to eat with me in the car but I don’t know what to expect.

Update – Concert was great. No food was available that I could eat though so instead…

Snack before leaving (about 3pm) – Spaghetti squash and turkey casserole

Snack in car (about 6pm) – Snap peas

Snack in car (about 11pm) – HB egg and broccoli, a few blueberries

How did I move?

HIIT (high-intensity) workout and yoga. I feel like my energy is coming back for workouts so I’m grateful for that and ready for more.

Bruschetta Salmon over Garlicky Zoodles

It’s entirely possible to get a delicious dinner on the table quickly. The key is to do a little prep work ahead of time and choose the right ingredients. Salmon and zoodles both take very little time to cook and the flavors of this dish are hearty and bold while staying light and refreshing for a hot summer day. It was so good that I kept saying “mmmm….” after nearly every bite.

I used my Spiralizer to make the zoodles the other day and salted them in a colander for about 20 minutes to get rid of most of the water. Once rinsed, I popped them in a container and stuck them in the fridge for tonight. I got home from yoga and was able to have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. It might have been even faster if I’d been focused instead of chatting and taking notes for the recipe.

I have to admit that I struggled with what to call this. I decided on Bruschetta Salmon because the topping is kind of like what you’d put on bruschetta but technically, “bruschetta” is the grilled bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil and the topping can vary. I thought about calling it Italian Salsa but that seemed equally confusing. Anyway, no matter what you call it, it’s still delicious. But if you plan on kissing anyone, make sure they have some too!

Seriously, though, this is the type of recipe to have in your back pocket for those rushed days when you still want to take care of yourself and celebrate the joy of eating healthy, fabulous food. Quantities are flexible here too. Use more or less tomato or garlic, or use parsley instead of basil. You get the idea. It will still be good. Just get in the kitchen and spoil yourself!

Bruschetta Salmon over Garlicky Zoodles

2 salmon filets (mine were skin on)

1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tomato

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 black olives, minced

1 Tbsp. minced sweet onion or shallot

4-6 basil leaves, julienned

1/3 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Make the topping by chopping the tomato into 1/4 inch pieces and adding to a bowl with the garlic, olives, onion, basil, vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Salt and pepper the salmon and lay face down (skin-side up) in the pan.
  3. Cook for 4 minutes and check to make sure the flesh is crispy and brown.
  4. Flip and cook skin-side down for another minute or 2, depending on the thickness of the fish.
  5. Once the salmon is just cooked through, remove to a plate, leaving the skin behind in the pan.

Garlicky Zoodles

2 zucchini

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Spiralize the zucchini and place in a colander over the sink.
  2. Salt liberally and mix through. Leave to drain for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse, shake dry, and set aside. (This can be done a day or two ahead.)
  4. Warm the olive oil over low heat for a few minutes.
  5. Add the pepper flakes and garlic to the oil and allow to sizzle for about a minute until fragrant.
  6. Increase the heat to medium and add the zoodles. Toss the zoodles until evenly coated in the garlic oil and cooked, about 2 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings and plate.

Bring it all together

  1. Plate zoodles.
  2. Top with the salmon.
  3. Add 1/2 the bruschetta topping to each serving.
  4. Celebrate the freshness of summer!

Serves 2

 

Whole45@45 – Day 4

Run with your heartLast night ended up being a bit of a crazy night at the gym where I work but I was home about an hour earlier than on other nights so I grabbed a snack with my kiddo. Dinner had been light and early so I ate a bunch of cherries. Maybe it was too many, I don’t know. It’s really tough for me to gauge because I love cherries so much but I do have a question. Bing or Rainier? I love them both – I think the Bing are sweeter and more flavorful, but the Rainier are so juicy and fleshy and stunningly gorgeous, just like a sunset. How can I resist? What do you think? Anyway…add that to what I ate yesterday and you’ll have the full picture.

I just finished a great run, which was something I was really needing. I am not a particularly good runner. I don’t think I’m physiologically built for it so I’m not very efficient, never seem to get very fast, and if I run too much, I tend to get injured. I used to try to be a runner and there was a time when I completed four 1/2 marathons, did long runs, tempo days, and paid attention to mileage, but that was a few years ago. One day I realized that I wasn’t ever going to be very fast and I really didn’t care so I left my headphones and watch at home and just ran however felt good and listened to the birds and my thoughts. It was a game-changer for me.

Now I run when I feel like it, how I feel like it. I generally run really short distances, maybe just 2-3 miles, and if I go long it might be 5 miles. I don’t care if I walk in the middle, if I stop to let my dog jump in the river (like 4 different times today because it was super hot out), and I never remember to even look at the time. I just run.

I happen to love the feeling of long run legs. It’s different from leg day legs for me, which I also happen to love. I’m not sore, but they feel heavy, exerted. That’s why I throw in something longer when I feel like it, not because I have to, but because I really just want to. I still nurse a few injuries, like right now I have a hamstring strain that I have to be gentle with, but I came home and rubbed some essential oils on it and now I’m sitting on an ice pack writing this. But I feel amazing from head to toe, so it feels worth it and like it was the right thing for me to do.

The shift to running for love was so important because there was a time when exercise was tied to weight loss or paying for something I did or didn’t eat – some form of punishment on some level. Several years ago, about the time I started lifting weights, a shift occurred. I was already doing high-intensity cardio stuff and also running. Weight training was slower paced but still hard. It was different and I liked it so I made some adjustments to fit it into my schedule. Now I’ve realized that it’s not about what you do to be fit and healthy, it’s just important to do it.

So if I feel like running, then I run. If I feel like lifting, then I lift. That’s not to say that I never follow a consistent program because sometimes I do that too. I recently was working through a strength program for about 6 weeks and  I plan to get back to it in about a week or so because, for me, it creates space to place all the effort in actually doing the workout. I don’t have to consider what I will do or whether or not I will do it, I just get it done and that kind of structure is often relaxing for me.

The thing is, do what you love. That’s what gets us moving and keeps us moving. If walking is your thing, do that. Swimming, biking, lifting, yoga, sweating buckets, whatever, just move for all of the benefits that come from living an active life. Everything is better. Health improves, energy skyrockets, feelings of confidence and self-worth improve, body confidence arrives (even before actual physical changes take place because it’s all mental), libido improves, moods and hormones stabilize – it’s really one of those things that just smoothes out all the edges.

Why don’t we always do it, then? What gets in the way? Well, it isn’t always easy. Schedules get crazy and when we’ve been away for a while it’s hard to get back because it is actually, physically hard. Sometimes we’re sidelined by injury. I’m not saying ignore injury (please don’t), but exertion is good for the body so find what inspires you to move in some way, any way, because your body craves it. And life only gets better because of it.

Shine bright. xo

So what did I eat today?

Breakfast – 2 eggs, zucchini (from the garden!), bell pepper, avocado, kraut, plantain

Post-run Snack – 1/3 of a Perfect Bar and iced green tea with 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen

Lunch – Celery salad with chicken, beets, walnuts, avocado, onion, vinaigrette / a chunk of sweet potato

Dinner – Salmon with Italian Salsa over garlicky zoodles / HB egg / cherries

And how did I move today?

A wonderful run by the lake in the morning and yoga tonight. Do what you love.

 

Whole45@45 – Day 3

compass

“Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow.” – Steve Pavina

I came across this quote today and it stopped me. I shared it in yoga. I felt compelled to share it here. But I can’t exactly explain why it resonated so much with me. I’m wondering if I just needed to hear it, or maybe someone else needed to hear it. Or perhaps I’m denying just how relevant it is to me right now because that’s sometimes hard to face.

I tend to be a sporadic blogger and I really don’t mean to be. I think consistency is considerably better. But I also have a really private side to me and putting things out here isn’t always the easiest to do, so I look for ways to share information or recipes or something of value, while not wanting to entirely open up. What if I say something ridiculous? Wrong? Boring? Negative? Sometimes what I want to say is more, deeper, heavier, more truthful, more vulnerable – and then I don’t. It occurred to me, though, that the most impactful thing I can do is share from the heart because there is always more information or knowledge to be found elsewhere. Here, I’m just sharing me and what I’ve experienced or come across. With a couple days of blogging done, I started worrying. Thank you for the comments, private messages, and support I’ve received – you keep me going.

I want to say a thing about carbs. There’s a lot of stuff floating around about low carb, keto, no carb etc. Each person gets to make their own decisions about what works best for their bodies. I found that keto didn’t make me feel my best so I’ve shifted back to a more traditional Paleo way of eating. In the past I’ve generally tended to keep my carbs a bit lower, maybe having a starchy carb at lunch or dinner only. This week, however, I’ve been having plantains or sweet potatoes at meals and or snacks more frequently because I know that my mind will be looking for the carbs as I transition into eating cleaner. What I don’t want is to be fighting my mind over bread or sweets so I’m using this week to test how it feels to take in a few more carbs but from sources that support my health. Depending on how I feel, I may keep the extra carbs or not. I need to see how I feel with my workouts and the regular day to day, as well as cravings and mood swings, which I haven’t had any of so far. According to the Whole30 Timeline, Days 4-5 are moody and angry days. If a little sweet potato helps stabilize those hormones then I’m in!

I’m still not feeling 100% after eating today but I don’t think it qualifies as full-blown carb flu or anything like that. I just feel bloated. Kind of like my gut biome is adjusting to the change and hasn’t fully transitioned yet. It’s still early though. And I took a nap. Just 15 minutes, but it felt so incredibly luxurious to rest a few moments. I will be curious to see if the nap goes away with steady energy throughout the day or if it stays. Naps are so good! And I work at 5am and then again in the evening so it helps keep me feeling fresh. But really, no excuse is necessary. Entire countries take naps and I think we really should too. Sleep is so important and we are often short on it.

Food Scene

Breakfast – 2 eggs with sautéed cabbage, avocado, kraut, plantain

Lunch – Barbacoa salad with tons of veggies and vinegar and oil, a chunk of sweet potato (like 1/3 of a cup), kiwi

Snack – Cherries, couple bites of turkey and spaghetti squash casserole

Dinner – I work at 5:30 so this is a weird day for me. I usually eat more during the day or dinner at 4:45 because I don’t like to eat right before bed. I’ll probably have some spaghetti squash casserole and call it good.

Exercise

I thought I’d add a little bit about my exercise so that I can see how my eating is affecting it or how the exercise is affecting my eating. The last two days were HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts that definitely kicked my butt.

Today…yoga. Probably a walk with the dog in the evening. It’s 100 degrees right now so my dog doesn’t think we should go out. 😉

Shine bright. xo

 

Whole45@45 – Day 2

San IsabelSometimes things come along that are unexpected and if I let my “needs-to-have-a-plan” side get in the way, I forget to live life to the fullest. A girlfriend of mine went camping not too far away and asked if I could come up for the evening (couldn’t stay more because I work in the morning). I said yes and then proceeded to have a bunch of thoughts about how my day was really busy and we wouldn’t have much time and I didn’t want to get home late because I work at 5am, etc. But I silenced those thoughts and just went. It was a really lovely evening and I have been wanting so badly to get into the trees and have a campfire and it just hadn’t happened yet. I am so grateful.

This friend is also one that I typically enjoy drinking wine with. So here I was on Day 2 being faced with an evening around a campfire, which is typically not the healthiest place. But really, isn’t it about the company and the experience? I do know this, but “the experience” has also been tied to cocktails in the past. Habits are funny that way – once they form they can become deeply rooted. But instead, I took a bunch of La Croix bubbly waters, which I love, grabbed a bag of snap peas out of the fridge, made a quick tomato/basil/sweet onion salad and headed out. It was wonderful! Spontaneous, special, easy, and zero cravings or regrets.

I think it’s really important to remember that life is about experiences and connection with those around us. If I had hesitated and let my schedule or normal mid-week patterns dictate what I did, I wouldn’t have had such a gorgeous evening fishing, chatting, and sitting by the fire. I’m so glad that I said Yes!

Before I go, somebody asked me to keep posting about what I eat so I’m definitely going to do that. If you have anything you’d like me to talk about or any questions, please post them in the comments and I’m super happy to tackle anything!

Breakfast – Eggs, zucchini, avocado, 1/2 a plantain, sauerkraut (Bubbies brand is so good and full of live cultures and probiotics!)

Pre-workout snack – HB egg + blackberries

Lunch – Big salad again with some Cuban meatballs, lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, mango, and a creamy garlic dressing. Sometimes I have some strange combinations because I really just open the fridge and decide what might taste good. The addition of mango today was delicious! Plus a chunk of sweet potato.

Snack – 1 last meatball, a couple ounces of chicken, cherries

Dinner – Brat, tomato salad, and a ton of snap peas

I felt pretty hungry today and then would eat and would be almost too full. I think it’s actually the shift in the foods that I’m eating, including exponentially more fiber than I was getting these past few weeks. Sometimes I’ve been a bit uncomfortable, but I’m sure that’ll wear off in a week or so. Maybe even sooner.

So there’s my day. I’ll be back tomorrow. Shine bright! xo