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

Whole45@45 – Day 1

A single step

Day 1 of any challenge tends to be an easy one because you have all of the enthusiasm and mental energy behind getting started. I like to use the early days, like yesterday and today, to make sure that I’m prepared for any surprises that might come up as the week goes on.

For example, yesterday I made sure that I had some protein cooked and available, like some barbacoa that I made the other day in the slow cooker, some hard boiled eggs, a few roasted sweet potatoes, and some roasted veggies. I also went to the store and stocked up on snap peas and fruit so that I have something to grab if I need it. I always make sure to have some leafy greens on hand like washed kale or spinach to throw into eggs in the morning as well as some premade slaw. These are the basics for me.

I got a good workout in this morning but I felt so sluggish it was really frustrating. I had to actively use positive self-talk to work through it, reminding myself that it was temporary, that I knew I could finish it, that I would feel better when it was done, etc. Coming off too much wine and sugar makes it really hard to feel great in the gym, plus when I’m carrying more weight, it is actually just harder. I tried not to beat myself up too much; I know that I’ll feel better and more energized in a few weeks. Berating myself for decisions that have already been made is totally useless so I just got on with the job and made sure that I took a few extra breaks to catch my breath and I let that be okay.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what I’ve eaten today: Breakfast – 2 eggs with spinach, 1/2 plantain, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut; Lunch – Big salad with barbacoa, 1/4 avocado, tons of veggies, a little mayo/lime/chili powder dressing; Snack – Cherries; Dinner will be – Chicken and spinach spaghetti squash casserole.

I haven’t felt hungry at all today. My first thought when I woke up this morning, though, was that 45 days is going to be so long! But one day at a time, right? I’ve got to start somewhere and I know that I will feel much better soon. Anyone else start today?

Remember to stay positive and focus on what you’re adding to your day, rather than what you perceive you are taking away. Perception is key!

Shine bright. XO

My Whole45@45

let adventure begin

I turned 45 last week. For some reason it felt even more momentous than turning 40. I’m not really bothered by age, exactly. I don’t get sad or upset by it, but I have noticed that a very distinct aging process began after turning 40. My recovery slowed, injuries were a little more worrisome, wrinkles appeared, gray hair. None of this is awful and it’s all how it’s supposed to be, but at the same time, I came so late to the healthy, fit, active lifestyle that I have that I really don’t want to lose it.

On top of that, for the past year or so, I have been really inconsistent with my healthy habits and it’s taken a toll. Lately, especially, things got a little crazy and I basically ignored all signs from my body and just let go. We were in CA for some emotional family business and then had company for a week or so and I’ve just been living like it didn’t matter. Only it does. And I feel it.

I decided that a great way to usher in this new year for me would be to do a Whole45. It will get me refocused on the healthy food choices that make me feel energized and vibrant and amazing, while also reminding me how capable I am of making a change. I often think about one of the adages of the official Whole30 – This is NOT hard. Eating delicious, whole foods that fuel my body and mind is actually easy. Really. True, getting over some hurdles that my brain throws at me because it really likes sugar and an evening cocktail or two might present some challenges, but I need to get over that.

The other reason that I decided to do this is because one of my friends was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that might benefit from following a less inflammatory diet and I told her about Paleo. I am doing this, and blogging about it in, support of her.

I honestly don’t know if I’ll have anything new or revelatory to share with all of you out there and if it frustrates you to have blog posts without recipes, then I apologize in advance. In my experience, though, even when I know something, sometimes someone will remind me of it at just the right moment, and it helps me shift. That’s my goal here. I plan to share what’s going on with me through this journey, a little about what I’m eating and how I’m feeling, as well as anything that comes up along the way. Hopefully it will resonate with a few of you or maybe you’ll hear something that inspires you to do something for your own well-being.

If you do feel inspired to do a Whole30 or 45 or whatever, or make your own shift according to what works best for your body, then please share! Be a part of this, feel free to comment, ask questions, talk about your own experiences, all of that. I would love it!

I can’t wait to have you along for this adventure – because that’s really what this is. It’s life…one day at a time, learning and experiencing and connecting with those around us. Here’s to recommitting to health in order to live our best lives! Shine bright!