Whole45@45 – Day 14


Want to know how to make eating right easier each week? Have a meal prep day. I find that weekends are the easiest, but it can be any day. I think sometimes people get overwhelmed thinking that you have to do a lot of prep to help your week run more smoothly, but sometimes it just takes a few things to make the whole week easier. Then you can add to your prep each time you cook turning it into a meal prep week.

Today ended up being a big cooking day because I didn’t have a lot of other things to do. I made a soup, these (BalancingPaleo) carrots, some shrimp that I’ll post next week, meatballs for dinner tonight but there are plenty for the week, and I roasted a spaghetti squash (again for tonight) and some broccoli. The fridge is jam-packed full of food that is ready to be turned into a lunch, dinner, or snack.

Here’s the trick, though. Tomorrow when I make dinner, I also plan on throwing together a chicken curry to go in the crock pot so that on Tuesday, I’m not cooking. Then if I need to have more things prepared, I have a few minutes in the evening to cook – even though it won’t be for that day’s dinner. And it rolls through like that.

Or it might be a day of the very basics, like hard boiled eggs, cleaned greens, sweet potatoes, grilled chicken thighs. It can really vary. The key is to have some veggies, some protein, and some greens all ready to go so that you can make something in a hurry. But I also like to add one more substantial dish like a soup or stew or something that likes to be prepared ahead of time and just needs heating up.

I’m curious to hear how any of you prep for the week. Are you more spontaneous? Is it always the same? Do you even do it? If not, why not?

Here’s to a healthful week and a few pockets of time to just relax!

Shine bright. x.

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – 2 eggs, zucchini, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut

Lunch – 1/2 meatball, 2 shrimp, leftover pork tenderloin, zucchini soup made with a little sweet potato

Snack – Smoky Carrots / Apricot

Dinner – Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce / my Italian meatballs / Green salad / Cherries

It’s been a good day and I can hardly believe two weeks have gone by. I felt pretty full this afternoon because I did a little tasting along the way with all of the food prep, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

Energy and mood have both stabilized and things are ticking along. At night I’ve been having a lot of dreams that I remember, which is unusual for me. I’m not sure what that means or if it has anything to do with this Whole45 at all, but last night I woke up a couple different times. I slept in this morning, though, so I’m feeling really rested anyway.





Smoky Carrots


First of all, I’m so sorry about the picture. My camera died and now I’m operating with my cell phone and I’m having a few issues. Please don’t let that stop you from making this super simple dish! You can call it a carrot salad or you can call it a side dish, it doesn’t really matter, just make it right away!

I got the concept from Melissa Joulwan, whose cooking style and recipes remain among my very favorites. Adding warm veggies to a highly seasoned dressing and then allowing everything to hang out together is utter brilliance. It comes together with very little hands-on work and then only gets better as it sits.

I made a version of these carrots when we had friends visiting and just got a request for them. Unfortunately, I don’t remember exactly what I did the last time. The thing is, there are many ways to season and spice these carrots so if something sounds like it might be appealing, then go for it! I think the lemon juice is really the kicker because the citrus brightens the whole dish and helps bring it together. In one version today I used allspice and regular paprika and in the other I used smoked paprika. That’s the one that I’m including here because it’s totally addictive.

I hope you enjoy it!

Smoky Carrots

1 lb. of carrots

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 clove of garlic, minced

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. minced parsley


  1. Peel and cut the carrots into 1″ chunks.
  2. Place carrots in a pot and cover with water, adding a large pinch of salt.
  3. Bring water to boil, then cover and simmer the carrots for about 7 minutes, just until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, place oil, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and salt in a serving bowl.
  5. Once carrots are tender, drain them, shaking off any excess water, and add them warm to the dressing.
  6. Toss to coat.
  7. Add parsley, toss again, and adjust seasoning to your taste.
  8. Serve with love!

Serves 4





Whole45@45 – Day 13

Self-Talk-1-428x550I’m starting to find my groove. I’m dialing my food in a little bit better but there still seems to be some work to do there. One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is just how much more stable my energy is. I no longer crash mid-day and even at night I have more energy. I usually go to sleep really early because I wake up at 4am, but the past couple nights I have had to tell myself to turn out the light because I felt awake enough to keep reading. Sleep is key though so it’s totally worth it, but it is noticeable how awake I feel.

So the other day, someone told me that I’m too hard on myself. And then this morning, one of the ladies I train was talking about her arms. We’ve been together for a while and she knows that I’m not a fan of talking badly about ourselves. She almost said her arms were fat, but changed it to how she’s working on her arms some more before wearing a tank top. When something comes up twice in one week, I figure I better pay attention a little bit. It got me thinking about body confidence, self acceptance, self-talk, loving ourselves where we are, body dysmorphia, and many other things.

As someone who has struggled with my weight my entire life, this is definitely something that I would love to find some secret answer to, but I am still working my way through it myself. I will probably come back to this subject again as the journey progresses, but let me just share a couple of thoughts today.

I truly believe that how we talk to ourselves has an impact on how we approach life. If we assume we have the strength and wherewithal to accomplish a task, we are that much closer to doing it. It’s one of the things that I love about strength training. When you start lifting weights and are suddenly lifting things far heavier than you ever thought possible, it carries over into other aspects of your life. You find that you are capable of accomplishing what you set your mind to. And perhaps more importantly, you know ahead of time, because you believe that you can right from the start.

That self-confidence comes step by step. A few good eating decisions, a few good workouts, and a shift begins to happen. Even before physical changes occur, people tend to carry themselves differently and speak to themselves differently. It goes hand in hand.

But let me back up one second because there is something even more important. For me, anyway, it is part of the fundamental issue. It’s what I think my friend about me being hard on myself. Weight doesn’t change who you are. You are no different, and I am no different, because of ten pounds. I’m saying this even though I struggle with it because I know it is true.

I have never ever, not even once, looked at one of my friends or loved ones who put on or lost ten pounds and thought any differently of them. I didn’t think they were any less beautiful or remarkable or worthy of love or filled with gifts to share with the world. Not even for one second. So why would I imagine that they think differently of me?

Partly I guess because there is a societal expectation around what is attractive, but of course even that is so different from person to person. I work in a gym so I spend my days in workout clothes and I admit that it has an impact on how I think about myself because I wonder if people question my worth as a trainer if I am struggling with my weight. Shouldn’t I have it all figured out by now?

When I start going down that path, I need to remind myself that I am strong and fit and healthy. But even that makes me wonder sometimes because if your identity is tied up in the physical, whether appearance or capabilities, what happens when those change or an injury comes up or any number of things. So then, worth must be tied to something else.

You are worthy because you are here, working every day towards being a good person in all the roles that you play. You are loveable because your heart is in the right place. you are deserving because we all are. You have something to share with those around you and something to give to this world. And you are beautiful. So very beautiful. Amazing really. Don’t ever forget that.

I hope you know this.

Shine bright. xo

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – Chicken thigh, cucumber, 1/4 avocado, olive oil

Lunch – Chicken thigh, chipotle slaw / handful of raspberries

Snack – 2 HB eggs, cherry tomatoes, snap peas

Dinner – Creole shrimp and zoodles / Banana with 1 tsp. almond butter

Much better day today. I ate a little less at each meal, cut the carbs way down, and had a splash of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar before breakfast and lunch. The only time my stomach hurt was after dinner and I’m wondering if it was the banana or not having the ACV. I’ll have to keep paying attention because I felt much better after the first two meals and throughout the day.

How did I move today?

Full body strength workout today felt good. Also played tennis with my husband and son and got a quick walk/run in with my dog. It was just going to be a walk, but a summer storm encouraged me to hurry home.





Whole45@45 – Day 12


Sometimes there are days where nothing dramatic happens. I suppose most days are like that, really, but sometimes I have something on my mind that I want to share. Today is not that day. I guess I wish that I had taken a picture of the cauliflower rice that I had for dinner because it was really tasty and just what I was in the mood for. I think I will fine tune it this weekend and post it because it was something simple to throw together at the last minute.

Still hanging in there, not feeling particularly great and not really sure why. The interesting thing is that I’ve done several Whole30s, I’ve spent more days than not in the past five years eating mostly Paleo, but this time for some reason things are not clicking along the way I’d expect. I still believe that in time I will feel better because I know that eating whole, nutrient dense foods will undoubtedly increase my health, but there might be some tweaking I need to do. Or maybe there are some completely different factors that are at play. In any case, I will keep moving forward.

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – No surprise here… 2 eggs, zucchini, sauerkraut, 1/4 avocado

Post-workout lunch – Spinach salad with grilled pork tenderloin, HB egg, broccoli, cucumber, onion, almonds, vinaigrette / Cherries

Snack – Grilled chicken / Cauliflower / Banana with almond butter

Dinner – A couple bites of chicken, maybe an ounce? / Riced cauliflower with tomatoes, ghee and olive oil

I had a big snack this afternoon so I wasn’t very hungry for dinner. On Fridays I eat breakfast around 6:30 and then didn’t have lunch until 1:00 so I think my hunger was out of whack. Plus no starchy carbs, which was why I was hungry for the banana. Still working on the rhythm.

How did I move today?

HIIT this morning. Then I had a chest day planned but only did a little bit of it. A friend I don’t see very often showed up and we got to chatting. Apparently the Universe thought I needed a break and sometimes connecting with people is more important than pushing yourself in the gym. It’s about balance.

Oh! And yoga!

Shine bright. xo




Whole45@45 – Day 11

joyIt was almost like a switch was flipped. Yesterday I had a really big salad for lunch. Then not much later, I had an early dinner. I didn’t eat too much because I wasn’t super hungry, but it was only 3-4 hours after lunch, which seemed soon, and I was ready to eat again. But then I was done.

Although I finished work early and was home at a time when I could have eaten if I’d wanted to, and honestly in the past few months I would have opened a bottle of wine and sat down outside with a snack of some sort, I had zero desire to do any of that. Not hungry. Not craving anything. In fact, before leaving the gym parking lot I tuned in to any sensation to determine whether or not I would need to eat. The reason I did this there was because I didn’t want any other habitual triggers, like pulling into the garage or going into the kitchen, to misinform my decision. It turned out that I simply wasn’t hungry so I committed to that.

Home I settled in to some work I needed to do with a cup of herbal tea and then went to bed when I was done. Again, zero hunger, zero cravings. I woke up this morning feeling different. It’s hard to explain, really, but I just felt in tune and peaceful with it all. I had a cup of tea with collagen (which contains about 5g of protein and has many health benefits) around 6:30 and didn’t eat breakfast until about 7:30. That seems like a long stretch to go without eating, but fasting or intermittent fasting can be good for the system. While it’s not something that I practice intentionally at this point, I’m not at all opposed to leaving a bigger window between eating and particularly at night.

All day today, eating felt easy, nourishing. Even when I had a 1/2 of an Rx bar between tennis and yoga, it was easy to just have a couple bites and then move on – because that was all I wanted. For those of you out there who don’t have issues around food, that probably seems strange to even think about it, but some of us will eat even when we don’t want to. It’s hard. And frustrating.

Anyway, the only thing that I ate today that I’m wondering about was a plantain. I split it up between lunch, which was just post-workout, and dinner, which was post-yoga. I felt like I needed some carbs and I really love plantains, but right after eating it I didn’t feel great. Suddenly a little too full, a little bloated. It’s got me wondering. I’ll make a few sweet potatoes tomorrow instead of plantains to see if I still experience that same feeling or if I need to cut out starchy carbs for a bit. We’ll see.

With food aligned, the rest of my day felt like magic. Today was my day off and it was perfect. I had a leisurely morning outside with coffee and journaling, I got in tons of physical activity which made the day feel fun, and I also got a lot of things done on my to-do list, probably because everything else felt like self-care. It was a good day and I am so incredibly grateful.

I hope you are all feeling centered and loved today. If not, know that I’m sending a few good vibes your way!

Shine bright. xo

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – 3 eggs, garden chard with sautéed mushrooms, 1/4 avocado / Kiwi

Post-workout Lunch – Spinach salad with grilled chicken thighs, onion, walnuts, avocado and a fresh cherry vinaigrette / 1/2 of a plantain

Post-tennis/Pre-yoga snack – 1/2 an Rx bar and a handful of grapes

Dinner – Buffalo chicken slaw with 1/4 avocado / 1/2 a plantain

How did I move?

Big ole leg day today. It felt great! (Except I do still have a hamstring issue that I’m just trying to ignore. Secretly I’m hoping that over time the decrease in inflammation throughout my body will also help it feel better.)

Tennis with my son. I am loving this and wish we had started earlier this summer.

Yoga. Because it’s always a good idea.

I’m sending this now but if I get done with a few things early enough, I might just finish the day with a little evening walk with my dog. I loved this day!

Thanks for coming along. Leave me a comment about how your day has been!



Whole45@45 – Day 10

journeyI can’t believe it’s Day 10 already! It seems to have gone really quickly. At the same time, I’m a little frustrated because I don’t feel as great as I thought I would. On previous challenges, by now I would be ticking along, feeling better in my skin, noticing good changes, but this time it just seems to be taking longer. And I don’t really know why.

So this morning I reminded myself that my body will take its own path and its own time. We can’t guarantee the outcome of any endeavor we take on, we can only focus on enjoying the journey. And truthfully, I am. I am liking eating foods that taste good and feel healthy. I am appreciating how it feels to be more centered and focused on the signals my body is sending. And I am still looking forward to where this all will take me.

And that’s really the point, isn’t it? Where we can always allow ourselves to get angry or upset about things not happening quickly enough, maybe the best journeys are the ones that take a little longer to unfold. This time, by making it a 45 day challenge instead of 30, I really feel like I am not in a hurry, that my intention is to be even more solidified in my good habits not so that I can revert to mistreating my body, but so that I can carry these habits even further. That’s the point.

It isn’t about a challenge or losing weight to fit in a dress or any kind of quick-fix. It’s about repairing this relationship with myself and food that continues to be distorted. I want to feel freedom and joy in this area of my life – because that is my nature and my desire. In order to do that, I need to heal. And in order to do THAT, I need time.

So while I may have said a swear word last night when evening rolled around and I was still feeling very far from where I want to be, today I am feeling more forgiving. Gentle. I’m allowing for all of the parts of me to be present and supported and encouraged by the choices that I’m making in each moment. We are such multi-faceted creatures that true healing needs to happen on many more levels than just food. Food is a good place to start, of course, because so much of even how we process things is connected to what we put in our bodies, but we also need to have space to grow and learn, patience for the time it takes to change, and love for the journey.

There is pleasure in the process and it’s worth seeking and exploring. What makes you smile? What makes you feel good inside and out? What entices your taste buds? What lights you up?

Shine bright. xo

So what did I eat today?

Breakfast – 3 eggs, zucchini, 1/4 avocado, kraut (no starchy carb today because I’m wondering if that’s keeping me from feeling great) / Cherries

Lunch – Chicken salad with cauliflower, spinach, snap peas, raisins, cashews, onion / Cherries

Early dinner – Chicken thigh, zoodle sauté, 1/4 avocado / Cherries



Yoga. It’s always a good idea.



Whole45@45 – Day 9

dreamI totally dreamt about eating crackers last night. According to the Whole30 Timeline, I’m a bit early but often around Days 12-15, people dream about eating things that are out of scope and sometimes those cravings follow into the waking hours. It seems the head is working overtime to continue with old habits and revert back to the way things were. I don’t remember ever really passing through this phase before, maybe I did but just wasn’t focused on it, but last night my dream was incredibly vivid. I was also in Paris, which helped.

So far I still haven’t had any desire to eat things that aren’t good for my body and mind. I really just feel completely engaged in fresh, whole foods. It feels so much better. I’ll keep you posted, though, if it happens.

I also want to touch briefly on eliminating toxins from the body. The skin is our largest organ and it is where many toxins come to the surface to be eliminated. I have pretty dry skin so all my life I’ve never really had to deal with pimples very much. Right now I have three little spots on my face that I’m sure are my body clearing things out. The more time I spend eating right and drinking a ton (really) of water, the more my skin will thank me. It’s one of the things that I look forward to with this challenge. Clear, glowing skin tends to come along with all the micronutrients and antioxidants in the veggies and lots of water.

Speaking of veggies and water, one of my zucchini plants is turning out zukes like crazy so I’ll be cooking with them a lot. Hopefully have a recipe coming in the next couple of days if you’re looking for something to do with your bounty!

So what did I eat today?

Breakfast – More of the same because it works for me… 2 Eggs, spinach, tomatoes, basil, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 plantain

Lunch – Spinach salad with chicken, peach, onion, avocado / 1/2 plantain

Snack – Cherries

Dinner – Grilled chicken thighs / Zoodle sauté / Blackberries

And for movement?

HIIT + Abs/Glutes and an evening dog walk.

I taught class today and got my workout done with the group. Normally I would have eaten a small, half-lunch as a pre-workout meal, but I wasn’t really hungry and decided to listen to that. It worked out great! I felt a tiny blood sugar dip around 11:45 but I almost feel as if it were my brain saying I should eat when really I didn’t need to.




Whole45@45 – Day 8

living is joyI still keep feeling really hungry at lunch and through the afternoon. I’m not sure what that’s about. I’ve been eating fruit (maybe it’s the sugar?) and other things but I’m wondering if I just need to work through it. I’m not sure if those signals are actually hunger or are other habits trying to surface. Tomorrow I’m going to focus on working through some of the urges to see if it will calm the heck down.

I’m feeling pretty bloated today which could definitely still be due to the shift in eating. The Whole30 Timeline mentions that these couple days can sometimes make your pants feel tighter and cause a little distress. Just the work going on internally to adjust and hopefully it will go away in the not-too-distant-future.

So what did I eat today?

Breakfast – Eggs, spinach, avocado, kraut, plantain

Lunch – Salad with celery, roasted broccoli, chicken, onion, pickles, toasted sliced almonds, red wine vinaigrette / cherries

Snack – Raspberries, chicken, sweet potato, cashews

Dinner – Pork tenderloin / Roasted cauliflower / Cucumber-Avo salad

What did I do for exercise?

Tough shoulder workout with a few hill sprints added in and then I played tennis with my son. I think it’s important to move in ways that are not just gym workouts but that add joy to life. It was our first time and it’s a good thing that the courts were empty. We might have had to chase a few. 🙂

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.