Whole30 – 2016TD21

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 21 is done!

Quote of the Day: You are STRONGER than you know!

My day got totally changed around. I was looking forward to the tasting and had come to grips with the day and my blog (thanks to all of you and your supportive comments). Then I got a call from the venue and the chef had been in a car accident. He wasn’t hurt, just a bit shaken up and sore. I admit, it threw me off a bit because I had it all planned in my head, but that’s life. It’s totally unpredictable.

I felt really good with my food, even though there was that long stretch. I was super busy with work and most of it was out of the house. Ironically, my work situation is changing a little bit next month and I will have even more hours working from my home office. I am going to have to come up with a solution because I like to snack in front of the computer, especially when I’m really busy. I recognize it as a bad habit, a compulsion, a tactic for procrastination and/or stress relief. It is certainly not in my best interest, so I need a plan.

I think this quote is perfect today! I totally could have thrown in the towel and just taken that break from my Whole30. Maybe gone out to dinner, had a drink, whatever and just chalked it up to my “break”. But I didn’t. In fact I was even more conscious of my decisions and felt really good about handling the change in plans. I know that I have the strength in me to be successful and to stick to my decisions. Really, this isn’t hard in the grand scheme of things. It’s a choice. And one that makes me feel good in my skin. But sometimes, it feels hard and in those moments I think it’s worth it to dig a little deeper and tap into that inner strength. We all have it. Every one of us.

So the tasting is rescheduled for tomorrow and, it’s funny, because I feel totally ready to continue my Whole30. I almost wish it weren’t happening and I’m feeling a little insecure, like it might derail me more than I want. But I know that it will be super fun and I’ll be excited tomorrow. Tonight I feel just a tiny little bit frustrated (that’s too strong of a word, but I can’t find another) that I’m feeling good and I might be sabotaging it.

Day 21 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

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

10:30am – Salmon salad with broccoli, avocado, and tomatoes, banana

4:30pm – Hardboiled egg with a tiny drizzle of truffle oil, carrots, strawberries

6:15pm – Pork tenderloin, peppers and onions, cabbage, and salsa hotplate, 1/4 avocado, 2 eggs, apple

7:30pm – A few nuts

Food: So I really just need to find some work that keeps me out of the house. I was super busy all day long today and hunger didn’t even enter into the equation. I was a little hungry after dinner though, so I had a few nuts. Not overboard this time, but I’m still considering taking a full break from them next week.

Mood: Good, solid, even energy.

Sleep: 6 1/2 hours. I really feel that missing 30 minutes. And I woke up with a headache, which is interesting because that was happening at the beginning too. Please don’t say it’s the alcohol.

Activity: Yoga.

Focus – Meditate Daily: In my car when I thought I had the only 10 minutes I would get today. Breathe.

Langoustine Tails in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Langostino Tails in Mushroom Cream Sauce 2016

I actually was daydreaming about this recipe all day. I really wanted a creamy mushroom sauce and I had these langoustine tails just waiting for some love. It’s a bit soupy, which my husband wasn’t a big fan of, but I just slurped it all up and thought it was delicious so I decided to share anyway. If you don’t have langoustine tails hanging around, which would make total sense, you could easily swap them for shrimp and it would be just great too.

So zoodles…I have a spirulizer which makes the process really easy. I generally make my zoodles and then drop them in a strainer with some salt for about 20 minutes or more. Then I rinse them and barely cook them with whatever I’m doing. I’ve even made salads with them raw so they really don’t need much cooking.

Both the langoustine tails and the zoodles release their own water which is why this is a little more soupy than creamy. You could always reduce the sauce much more before adding the tails and zoodles, or even skip the broth, but I like the flavor combination of broth and coconut milk. Honestly, I really enjoyed it like this, so let me know what you think!

Langoustine Tails in Mushroom Cream Sauce

2 tsp. ghee

1 lg. shallot, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used my food processor)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. broth, chicken or veggie

1 c. coconut milk

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

12 oz. langoustine tails (or shrimp)

3 zucchini, julienned, salted and rinsed (directions in notes above)

Directions

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt the ghee.
  2. Add the shallots and sauté about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and salt.
  4. Cook until they have released their water, about 5 minutes more.
  5. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper and then the coconut milk and broth.
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes allowing the flavors to blend and the sauce to cook down.
  7. Add the langoustine tails and zoodles and mix everything together.
  8. Cook until the langoustine tails are done, about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 2-3

Whole30 – 2016TD20

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 20 is done!

Quote of the Day: If you’re tired of starting over, STOP giving up! You’re doing great!

So here’s the question: If you know that at some point during your Whole30, you are going to consciously eat things that are not compliant, do you never start? Or do you start anyway? And, if you’ve decided to blog about what you’re eating, what do you say?

I struggled with this off and on. I thought about it before starting and I thought about what impact sharing my “interlude” would have. Would you all decide that my Whole30 was a waste? Would anyone use it as an excuse to eat or drink things just because? Would someone think I was a fraud because I’m eating things that are not even remotely compliant? Should I just pretend? To these questions, I really don’t have the answer. But what I can share with you is what I decided for myself.

When I took on this challenge, I decided to do a Whole30. I also decided to share what I eat every day. It’s not always been easy, sometimes I just want to go about my day. But I committed to sharing with you for 30 days – every day. I did not, however, guarantee that I would be successful or perfect along my journey. That was left to life.

I am a co-chair for a charity event that takes place on February 5. Right now I am totally in the thick of things. I’m trying to do my every day stuff – job, mom, life – while spending every other waking moment making sure this event is a success. Oh yeah. And blogging daily. Tonight we had a meeting that included a visit from the business that is donating our signature drink. I could have let everyone else tell me our variation on a cosmo was lovely and just gone with it. But I didn’t. I had one and it was great. And tomorrow, I will be meeting with my co-chair at the location and the chef has prepared a tasting menu for us to decide what we want to serve. Again, I could be a bystander. But I won’t be – because that simply isn’t who I am.

So for 24 hours, I am taking a break from my Whole30 because I need to and I want to. It’s that simple.

The thing is that when January 31 roles around, I don’t have any intention of eating very differently from how I do now. So I’m going to say that it all works out in the end. Doing this Whole30 with all of you has reconnected me with what works for me and I’m still in the process of fine-tuning. I am actually learning a few things about myself that I’ll probably share at the end, but for now, please forgive me for taking this break to sample what will be a part of my event in a few weeks.

I would love to write more about today’s quote, but maybe this situation is the perfect picture. I’m not quitting, I’m not starting over, I am continuing. This is how I will succeed.

Day 20 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

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

11:30am – Ground turkey and artichoke concoction on a bed of young kale and spinach

1:30pm – Nuts and prunes (I know…I’ll need to address this next week)

3:30pm – Apple, (2) chicken thighs

6:00pm – Cosmo, assorted crudités

8:30pm – Wine with my co-chair

Food: Another day of random eating in the afternoon/evening. Plus the drinks. And I actually feel really short on veggies. I normally eat so many more. Ugh. On top of random eating, the nuts and dried fruit will need to be my next focus. I am very busy and they are absolutely stress eating for me. I might be a little hungry when I start, but I am eating too many of them and doing it in front of the computer and without attention. It’s not good for my mind, body, or habits so I need to work on it.

Mood: Too busy to notice my mood today. Must have been fine!

Sleep: 6 1/2 hours. Dang. Tonight will be a little short too.

Activity: Weights. It was a good workout at the gym today. Just wish I could have gotten outside too.

Focus – Meditate Daily: Early morning. Loved it. Could use another 10 minutes right now, but I also need to sleep. I will try to combine the two, I think.

Whole30 – 2016TD19

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 19 is done!

Quote of the Day: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

This reminds me that it can be really helpful when working towards a goal to think for a while about why you want to achieve that particular thing. Knowing our “why” can help sustain us through times when we have cravings or don’t feel as strong in our desire to make the hard choices. It can also help to broaden the why to include benefits to others, not just a personal benefit.

For example, you might want to lose weight to fit into your jeans better, but if you can dig a little deeper and find a reason that also touches others – perhaps you feel better in your jeans which gives you more confidence and you start a regular evening out with friends. Or something along the lines of improving your health so that you can be more active and spend more time playing (or living) with your kids. It seems that these goals that reach a little beyond ourselves, can help strengthen our resolve.

Either way, knowing deeply why you want to eat this way can make the process easier. Write it down, too! The act of writing, and even putting it somewhere as a reminder, keeps your goals top of mind.

It’s important to make the initial period as easy as possible, requiring less thought rather than more, so your brain can get on board and start coasting. If your brain doesn’t have to make as many difficult decisions about what to eat, and instead can go on auto-pilot, then you’re in the process of forming a good solid habit.

Day 19 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

6:15am – 2 eggs, kale and mushrooms, 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut, a little bit of celery/chicken salad

1:00pm – 1 1/2 c. Turnip soup, burger patty with 1/4 avocado, carrots, small handful of macadamia nuts

5:15pm – Grilled pork tenderloin, spiced sweet potatoes, pineapple

Food: Food was okay today. I am not sure why this Whole30 is so difficult for me to figure out how much I should be eating. I think it is in part because my schedule has been so erratic that I just can’t find a normal rhythm. Lunch was late and I was hungry. I ate more than I probably needed and then didn’t feel great. It’s not terrible, just not feeling quite right.

Mood: My mood was pretty high today. Energy was great and I was able to get a lot accomplished rather efficiently. That’s important to me right now.

Sleep: 7 hours. Good sleep.

Activity: Yoga. I am really missing my other workouts. This part of my life is suffering right now, but I also know that in February, it should settle down so I’m just doing the best I can.

Focus – Meditate Daily: Just before bed tonight. I was thinking that it wasn’t may favorite time, but actually, it was perfect.

Whole30 – 2016TD18

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 18 is done!

Quote of the Day: Give thanks, for unknown blessings are already on their way.

Someone mentioned to me the other day about my morning sauerkraut thing so I’ve decided to explain a little bit. It’s not that I’m addicted to sauerkraut, but it’s definitely become a habit. The sauerkraut that I eat is cabbage and salt that’s been allowed to ferment. Nothing else. It isn’t in the can or even in the plastic pouch by the deli meats. I find it in our natural food store and it’s in the refrigerated section. I think it tastes really different from canned sauerkraut. It’s crunchy and has a much milder flavor. I think of it as more tangy than sour. It’s super fresh and it’s full of probiotics, which are great for our health.

Probiotics are the little microbes in our gut that, science is finding, have a lot more to do with just about everything about us, including health and mood and disease prevention and more. It’s worth it to keep your good bacteria up because they can help crowd out the bad. Fermented foods help replenish and balance our gut microbiome. Yogurt and kefir are two dairy products that can do that. During my first Whole30, I found fermented sauerkraut because dairy was out.

I actually like sauerkraut anyway because I like sour flavors. I tend to use more vinegar in my salad dressings than some people would, and I even (often) add a splash of vinegar to the pan at the end of cooking my eggs. It’s delicious. But I always thought of it as being something next to pork chops at dinner. It wasn’t until I was doing a Whole30 and experimenting with different things that I tried it next to my eggs. And it totally works. When I plate up my breakfast, the kraut and avocado are next to the eggs – but I pretty much bring everything together before I eat.

If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think. My favorite brand is Bubbies, but I recently tried Sonoma Brinery and I like it too.

Day 18 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

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

12:15pm – Celery salad with baked chicken, apple, and walnuts

4:00pm – Plantain chips (um…these will not be coming home very often)

5:15pm – Salmon on salad with sesame dressing

Food: I felt more on track today. The plantain chips were new, something I got for my husband while he is away traveling. I had to sample them first, of course, and they were fun. I don’t want to become a big chip snacker, even if they are a healthier chip, so these are a once in a while thing.

Mood: I feel okay. I have some personal stuff going on right now and I’m incredibly busy with a charity event that’s coming up so some days I’m just a little quieter.

Sleep: 6.5 hours. A little short, but it was deep.

Activity: Rest day.

Focus – Meditate Daily: I am becoming increasingly grateful for this practice.

Whole30 – 2016TD17

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 17 is done!

Quote of the Day: “Nothing’s impossible. The word itself says I’m Possible.” – Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn. Enough said.

I’ve written before about believing in yourself in order to be successful. It’s an important part of the journey, and one that takes time. One of the key questions I ask when someone is struggling with a situation is whether or not they’ve been successful in the past handling that particular scenario. If so, what did it look like? We have the ability to tap into our strengths and other resources to help us through all kinds of different challenges, but sometimes we have to dig a little bit to remember how we handled it before.

Think about some of the times that feel hard – lunch at work, for example, or socializing with friends. If you can recall a time when you confidently ate your Paleo lunch while others munched on Subway, you can gain strength from knowing that you’ve done it before and succeeded. Or if you remember how great you felt when you focused on the company and companionship while out with friends and the fact that you didn’t have any dishes to do instead of drinking too many cocktails and feeling bloated after too much food, then you can gather the momentum you might need to do it again.

Past successes are helpful to call upon, but if you can’t seem to find a time when you worked through a craving or something like that, then you need to take a deep breath and find the thread that connects you to your self-worth. Connecting to your inner strength can remind you that you are strong enough, capable enough, prepared enough to do whatever you need to do to be successful. You actually already have all that is necessary for success right inside. You just need to tap into it.

If you are finding it difficult these past few days, I can assure you that you aren’t alone. It takes effort. But you are worth that effort, and I know you can do it. Now it’s time to believe in yourself!

Day 17 – The Details

4:30am – Black coffee

7:30am – 2 eggs, mushrooms and kale, 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut, a few bites of ground artichoke-turkey meat

10:00am – Asian chicken hand rolls, banana

1:00pm – Macademia nuts, Paleo jerky

3:30pm – Pork, slaw, 1/4 avocado, a few ounces of ground artichoke-turkey meat, grapes

Food: It was a really weird food day today. I was anticipating a very late lunch so I had a big snack at 10 but then my schedule changed. I was hungry in the afternoon so I ate early and then wasn’t hungry for dinner because I have to eat early on work nights. It was not ideal, but I survived.

Mood: My mood felt even, but I was feeling a little “over” my Whole30. It’s just a phase, I’m sure, but I’m hoping to feel more enthusiastic tomorrow.

Sleep: 7 hours. Nothing remarkable.

Activity: yoga / dog walk / a few weights / sprints

Focus – Meditate Daily: Early morning, post-yoga. My son was home from school today so I got to enjoy a slightly longer, calmer dawn.

Whole30 – 2016TD16

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 16 is done!

Quote of the Day: Those who do not believe in magic will never find it.

It’s a little hard to believe that my Whole30 is over half way finished. It continues to be a bit of a mystery to me that the simple act of placing some rules around my eating can change my choices so drastically. Or is it because it is January? It seems really silly, and I’m a little embarrassed actually, that last month I was having an evening cocktail quite regularly and eating with little to no regard for how it was affecting my body, whereas because I took on this challenge, it now seems easy to choose health. If it’s this easy, why do I ever stop?

I’m pretty sure that’s going to remain a mystery to me for a while still. I know people who find it strange to imagine me eating any other way than how I eat when I blog about it. Some of these people are pretty balanced in how they eat and they aren’t bothered by cravings or disequilibrium. They just eat and then moderate what they eat as they need to. I still hope that one day I will do that too. For now, it’s effort. Even when it’s not, really.

Eating Paleo certainly makes it easier because I don’t feel deprived. I love what I eat. I love it because it’s delicious and varied and satisfying. That definitely helps me feel great, and not like I’m missing out on something. But no matter what, I’m choosing not to have things that are readily available and sometimes that irritates me. It’s not that I want them really, I know that they either aren’t healthy or that they don’t help me feel my best, but the idea that I am choosing not to have them still has the power to make me mad.

I’m working on the answer to that dilemma for myself. One day I hope to find it.

Day 16 – The Details

6:00am – Black coffee

7:15am – 1 c. turnip soup

10:30am – (post-workout) 4 oz. slow cooker pork with slaw, 1/4 avocado, 2 tsp. mayo, green bell pepper, 2 clementines

1:30pm – 1 c. turnip soup, 2 Asian chicken salad handrolls

4:30pm – A bunch of carrots and a few cherry tomatoes.

6:00pm – 2 baked chicken thighs, roasted Brussels sprouts, tomato/avocado salad

Food: Food went great today. I probably didn’t eat enough to compensate for the workout this morning, so I might be a little hungrier tomorrow, but I feel like I ate right for me today.

Mood: I love a crazy workout with like-minded people. It’s so much fun! And getting outside with my dog was something I’ve been neglecting. I regularly need to spend time in the fresh air so I’m glad that, even though my legs felt heavy, I got out there. It is always the right thing for me to do. Throughout the day, I feel like I was able to stay calmer and more patient when my son was pushing back. Which happened a lot today. Ugh.

Sleep: 8 hours! Plus lots of rest yesterday. I really needed that. Can’t remember any dreams, just total sleep.

Activity: (2) 45 minute boot camp classes back to back. I don’t think working out that intensely for that long is really the best thing for my body, but every once in a while, it’s too much fun to pass up. Walked the dog today too!

Focus – Meditate Daily: Just finished and now I’m headed to bed.

Whole30 – 2016TD15

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 15 is done!

Quote of the Day: Love yourself first.

What a beautiful statement. There is so much truth in this but it is also one of those concepts that can be difficult to embrace. I know that I have struggled with it over the years and have only come to understand it bit by bit with time. It is not always easy because self-love can sometimes be very, very difficult. Often the phrases we repeat in our minds, the stories we carry from our pasts, the belief that if we come first we are selfish – all these things and more can get in the way. But it is a statement worth considering.

When we love someone or something, we tend to take care of it. We nurture it, seek to understand it, work to honor its needs and cherish its soul. When you call to mind someone or something that you love – a child, a pet, a spouse, a passion, a friend – think about how you tend to those different areas. And now think about how you tend to yourself. If you are at the bottom of the list, if you never honor your need for space or affection or activity or nourishment or rest, then it will be so very difficult to have the energy to live your life to the fullest and to be your best for those around you.

I’m not suggesting that we all go around in a self-centered vacuum doing exactly as we please at every moment, but I am suggesting that we tap into those needs that are our deepest, most fundamental requirements and then provide for them. Fall in love with yourself and treat your whole being with kindness and respect.

When I think about nourishing someone I love, let’s say my son, I do not envision filling him up with Skittles and ice cream, but I do see those making an appearance from time to time in and amongst the foods that give him energy to grow and change and thrive. When I see that he is tired, either physically or emotionally, then I provide an environment and an opportunity for him to rest. I allow for time in his day to work as well as to play. And I shower him with love and forgiveness and then some more love.

I believe that in order to be our healthiest selves, we need to afford this same kind of attention and dedication to loving our own selves. Find time to play and find time to rest. Connect with others, but have a place to return to whenever we need to rejuvenate and center. Let go of the blame and negative thought patterns that do not serve our growth and potential. And eat to nourish our body, mind, and soul.

So which comes first? Do you have to love yourself before you can be healthy? Possibly. But let’s just imagine that they either go hand-in-hand or maybe that “first” doesn’t matter. If we love ourselves first, it might be easier to act with love, but if we don’t know how to do that yet, then we need another way. So start making the choices that look like love because as you grow in confidence and as you begin to trust that you will care for your needs, the love will also grow.

I read somewhere about how, if you’re feeling sad and you force yourself to smile or laugh, the act of those muscles being in a smiling state will signal to your brain that you are happier and the emotional state will begin to surface – even if your smile looks a bit like a grimace at first or your laugh sounds false. I believe this is similar to loving ourselves and the benefit that comes with that. Act in love and love will follow. That means that when you aren’t feeling it, maybe even especially in those times, act like you do. Make the choice for yourself that you would make for the one you love and then allow that love to ripple through you and change your trajectory.

Love, Me

Day 15 – The Details

5:00am – Black coffee

6:00am – 2 hard-boiled eggs, cucumber, baby kale/spinach mix, 1/4 avocado, turmeric aioli

10:00am – (post-workout) Can of tuna, celery, 1 Tbsp. raisins, turmeric aioli, banana w/ 2 tsp. almond butter

1:30pm – Thai ground beef and green beans on baby kale, a bit of Whole30 jerky

2:30pm – Macademia nuts, prunes, grapes

6:00pm – Turnip soup, ground turkey stuffed Portobello mushroom

7:30pm – Prunes

Food: I was hungry when I came home from the gym. It could be because I didn’t eat enough yesterday so today I was balancing out. I just tried to listen to my body and do what it needed. My worry was that I was hungrier simply because it was the weekend. In fact, I was hungry all day long and struggled to feel satisfied. I’m pretty sure at this point it wasn’t physical hunger. I just felt like snacking and the prunes were a sugar rush, I’m sure. Definitely the sweetest thing I’ve eaten in two weeks, much like the raisins the other day. I ate too many so it’s time to move away from those. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Mood: Fine mood all day but I was tired. I actually napped off and on and just couldn’t seem to be alert. Maybe it was the sugar from the prunes, but I think it was probably all combined. I was tired so my brain was looking for a boost. When I gave it something really sweet, I crashed.

Sleep: 7 1/2 hours. Maybe I’ll get 8 one of these days…

Activity: Weights

Focus – Meditate Daily: I found time in the evening. I like having this as a focus – it really reminds me that there is always time. I just need to make it.

Whole30 – 2016TD14

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 14 is done!

Quote of the Day: “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” – John C. Maxwell

This quote reminds me of one that my dad used to say when I was growing up: “The harder you work, the luckier you are.” I do believe that we need to put in the effort in order to see results. Sometimes we find ways to make the process and the journey easier or more enjoyable, but at least where a Whole30 is concerned, it takes more time and energy to eat this way than it does to swing by Subway. But it is totally worth it!

I sure feel for anyone out there who isn’t a natural planner, though. Planning and prepping can be key to successfully completing a Whole30. I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. One of my happy-places is sitting on the couch surrounded by cookbooks with a journal, a pen, and some sticky notes. I flip through the books, think about what I have in the fridge, imagine if there’s anything that I want to create, and then start making a list. I usually look at meals 5-6 days at a time and then build my shopping list if there are any of the pieces that are missing. If there’s a blanket on my lap and some music going, maybe even a cup of tea, then truly I am at peace.

For anyone who might need a hand with the planning this week, I figured I’d give you a glimpse of what’s going on at my house.

Stuff on Hand

Hard boiled eggs

Greens (this week I bought a box of baby kale medley instead of bunches of greens to wash – either works)

Carrots, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Grapes, Zucchini, other miscellaneous fruits and veggies

Celery (trimmed, washed, and hanging out in tall yogurt container with water – it keeps it crunchy and handy)

2 baked sweet potatoes to have chunks of if necessary

Always, canned tuna and chicken because you just never know when you need to eat in a hurry.

Food for the Week – I haven’t planned my meals exactly yet, because I will finalize those over the weekend, but I bought a bunch of stuff so it will look something like this…

Baked Chicken Thighs – some sort of veggie for dinner and then lots of leftovers for salads, snacking, and various combinations

Pot Roast – maybe towards the end of the week so there are leftovers for the weekend

Portobello mushrooms stuffed with some ground meat concoction

Grilled pork tenderloin

Green curry shrimp and green beans

A turnip soup that I want to try

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots to roast, butternut squash to roast

It’s certainly not perfect and maybe next week I’ll remember to make a plan in advance so I actually share some of the recipes that I’ll be making. But if you’re wondering what to do this week, maybe something like that helps give you an idea.

Day 14 – The Details

4:45am – Black coffee

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

10:30am – Leftover tilapia in curry cream, Mexican cauliflower rice, 1 Chipotle Meatball, carrots

2:30pm – Banana

5:45pm – Steak, broccoli salad with turmeric aioli, roasted mushrooms, 2 clementines

7:30pm – Handful of cherry tomatoes

Food: I don’t really know what to say about today. It felt easy and I was in control, even though my schedule hardly allowed me to eat. The leftovers at 10:30 were really meant to be a snack so they weren’t even very substantial. Unfortunately, though, after that I wasn’t around anything that I could eat except for the banana that I had on the go. I was reminded of another reason I love to eat this way. When I have to go long stretches without eating, I don’t panic and I don’t experience any blood sugar crashes or anything. I’m just hungry until I eat. It’s that simple. I was still feeling pretty hungry after dinner so I had some tea first and waited to see if the hunger was legitimate. I have to say that I wouldn’t have minded a glass of wine this evening.

Mood: Wow. Today’s mood was on fire! For one of the jobs I do I spend the time presenting to a group. My energy was really high and I know that they could feel it too. It was a lot of fun. But by evening, I did feel pretty drained. Not tired, exactly, just quiet and needing to recharge.

Sleep: 7 hours. Nothing special.

Activity: Weights and yoga

Focus – Meditate Daily: Morning meditation today. I like when I start my day like this. My mind is a little calmer but it is certainly not still.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower Rice 2016

Rice is one of the carbs that I will indulge in from time to time when not doing a Whole30. It’s also one of those foods that gets discussed in the Paleo world. Some people eat it, and some people don’t. Arguments tend to be about the length of time that humans have been eating it and the relative ease with which it is digested. In general, Paleo goes towards white rice because it is easier to digest and it doesn’t have any of the anti-nutrients that are found in brown rice. I know that’s a big difference from what mainstream nutritionists say, and I wish I had the definitive answer, but I don’t. I just try to do what is right for me and my body.

Most of the time, I love having made the switch to cauliflower rice. I will admit, though, that one of my favorite comfort foods is a bowl of rice with butter and salt. So, so good. I have done that with ghee and cauliflower rice with some success, but sometimes there just isn’t any alternative to sticky, chewy, simple rice. Or sushi. With this recipe, though, I was going for flavor as well as comfort and it worked out great! I felt like I was eating Mexican rice and it was delicious. Just what I was looking for.

My least favorite thing about cauliflower rice is that it makes a mess every time I prep it. I can’t seem to figure out a way to avoid having all those little tiny bits of cauliflower stuck to the counter or the floor. If you have any secrets out there, I’d love to hear them!

With this particular batch, I used a 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder and it was pretty spicy. Not too spicy, I don’t think, but spicy. Some avocado went really nicely to cool it down. If you are sensitive to spice, you might try a 1/4 teaspoon first and then add from there. And I had a green bell pepper, but if you have red or yellow or orange, then go for it. Don’t let the color of your pepper stop you from making this spicy bowl of comfort food!

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

1 head cauliflower, riced

2 tsp. F.O.C. (fat of choice, I used lard from a pastured pig)

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, minced

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

3/4 c. tomato sauce

2 Tbsp. minced cilantro

Directions

  1. Microwave riced cauliflower for 6 minutes in a covered bowl. After 6 minutes remove cover and set aside.
  2. Melt F.O.C. in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno to the pan and sauté for about 10 minutes until the onion is translucent and the vegetables have softened.
  3. Add the salt, cumin, garlic and onion powder, oregano and 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the tomato sauce and add the steamed cauliflower rice.
  5. Stir everything together, add cilantro, and taste.
  6. Add additional chipotle powder, salt, or a squeeze of lime.
  7. Enjoy!