Whole45@45 – Day 22

rumi hearts

I had a beautiful day today. I connected with a friend and felt love and loved. Mondays are also when I work with a number of different women and I saw them connect as well and support one another and be there for each other. I was reminded today, and deeply moved, by how our humanness brings us closer together. When we feel safe and are able to be vulnerable, to share the softer, less secure side of our selves, we have the chance to know our own hearts better as well as allow the other person across from us to bridge the gap with their understanding and acceptance. To be seen with the gentlest eyes is such a gift. I wish everyone could experience it. It says you are missing nothing; you are whole and accepted just as you are. When I see this, when I feel this, I breathe and cherish the moment.

I am moving headlong into the second half of this journey. My hunger feels totally manageable now. I’ve always wondered about people who claim that they forget to eat – I can’t imagine how that’s possible. I certainly don’t forget to eat, but there doesn’t seem to be much urgency behind it. I really have to go a long time before I’m ravenous. It’s super interesting to me and I wonder if some of it is the hormonal shift the other way. I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks. Right now, six or seven hours between meals isn’t hard. I also don’t feel like I’m overeating as much as I did in the beginning when I was trying to feel satisfied. Now I eat what looks normal and then I’m done. Fruit also seems to be taking a back seat. In the beginning I either ate, or at least wanted, fruit after every meal and I wanted to snack on it too. I think I was adjusting to the decreased sugar intake. Today, it just doesn’t seem as important. Tomorrow will test all this a little bit because I have a crazy day ahead, but we’ll just see how it goes.

I’m off to work. I hope you feel love today in any of its various beautiful forms. I’m glad you were here.

Shine bright. xo

What did I eat today?

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

Lunch – Salad with grilled pork chop, tomatoes, beets, avocado, sweet onion, mustardy vinaigrette

Dinner – Chili on a bed of slaw

Today’s workout?

I’m sending this a little early. I’m planning to get a back workout in, but I’m not sure it will happen. It will depend on what I feel like doing after work. Either way, it’ll be okay today.

 

Whole45@45 – Day 21

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Yesterday was an amazing day! I had the opportunity to take a yoga training class at a studio that feels really special to me. It’s not near where I live so I don’t get to practice there very often, but when they hold a special event, I try to attend. Yesterday’s training was about assists. The concept of assisting someone so that they may more fully enter into the experience they are already having is beautiful to me. It’s not about changing where someone is or “fixing” them in any way because in yoga, as in life, nothing is missing. We already have all that we need inside of us. Sometimes we simply need help remembering.

I love going to trainings and seminars. Learning something new always feels exhilarating to me. It’s probably something that I should try to do more often because it makes me feel connected to myself and the world around me in a different way. Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying this process so much too. Having to reflect and share with you what I’m going through has me looking at my eating and health differently. I have to say, though, I might only blog daily up to 30 days and then slow it down a bit. This level of analysis of my food doesn’t seem all that balanced to me.

But seriously! Already 21 days done? Crazy. I would be entering into the final countdown if it were a Whole30 and I am so glad that I extended it. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be stopping at 45 days either. I am thinking maybe something like 60. While I don’t believe that living this rigidly around food is how I want to live all the time, it hasn’t really felt that rigid yet. I have really been loving what I’m eating, how it’s fitting into my day, how I feel in my mind and body and everything about this process so I want to go a little bit longer before making a change. I plan to reintroduce foods carefully to see how I feel with each addition and I’m even looking forward to that process too. But we’ll see how it all plays out – I’m only half way done right now so I might change my mind.

The Whole30 Timeline talks about Day 21 being a hard one because food boredom sometimes sets in and people just get tired of the process. I’m wondering if I experienced a little of that on Day 19 when I was craving chocolate and super hungry.

Yesterday I was hardly hungry at all. I’m sure it’s because the body has the ability to balance itself when we feed it the right foods. If we’re constantly bombarding it with hyper-palatable packaged products or tons of sugar and non-foods, then it’s impossible for it to signal that it’s done eating because it keeps seeking out more nutrients. And then today, I just felt normal. I was definitely hungry by lunch, which was a little late, but felt pretty steady all day long. Simply being in rhythm.

Nothing much to talk about today. I’m just really enjoying the weekend, relaxing, doing chores around the house, and right now typing while a storm rolls in. I kind of love it.

So what did I eat today?

Breakfast – 2 eggs, cabbage, 1/4 avocado

Pre-workout snack – 1 Lebanese meatball / A few bites of beet

Lunch – Steak salad

Snack – Carrots and Kombucha

Dinner – Grilled pork chop / Buffalo cauliflower / Cherries

Snack – 2 kiwis / Collagen tea

How did I move today?

Leg day! Yesterday was a big shoulder day.

Also walked the dog today.

Heavenly Spiced Shrimp

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These shrimp. They are so good and I ate them hot and cold and loved them both ways. I don’t always think shrimp are great as leftovers, but I seriously ate these for 3 days straight. They are heavily spiced, but not too spicy, if you get what I mean. Unless you use hot chili powder and then you’ll get a kick. They have a ton of depth and richness to them that brightens up with just a spritz of lemon juice. I ate them plain, in a creamy sauce, on salad, as a snack…they were great to have on hand. If you don’t have access to a grill, you could probably cook them in a cast iron skillet and they’d still be delicious.

I like to use big shrimp for this, but I imagine you could cook a bunch of medium shrimp like this too and they would be easy to toss into salads or omelets or something. Play around with it. I hope you love them too!

Heavenly Spiced Shrimp

1 lb. extra large shrimp, uncooked but peeled with tail on

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

Lemon wedge

Directions

  1. Place olive oil and all of the spices in a large bowl.
  2. Add the raw (defrosted and rinsed if they started frozen) shrimp to the bowl and toss thoroughly. Use your hands and rub the spices all over the shrimp.
  3. Let the shrimp marinate in this dry rub for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill, including whatever tray or basket you plan to grill the shrimp on. If you prefer to use skewers, then go ahead and skewer your shrimp.
  5. Place the shrimp on the heated tray and close the lid.
  6. Let cook for about 90 seconds, then flip the shrimp.
  7. Close the lid for another 30 seconds, just long enough to grab a plate.
  8. When they are pink and opaque, remove from the grill.
  9. Spritz with a lemon wedge or two and dig in!

Serves 3-4

 

 

 

Whole45@45 – Day 19

tiredIf I had started my Whole30 on Monday, this would be Day 5 and that’s exactly how I feel. I’m totally exhausted and want some chocolate. Bad. Not sure where all that has come from and I sure hope it takes off soon. I’m so, so tired. I took a nap and still don’t feel awake. I have to take my son to football practice this evening and then I imagine I’ll come home and crash. Sounds like a fine Friday night plan to me. I’m such a party animal…

On top of being tired and craving chocolate, I’ve also been hungry. I did have a pretty tough workout this morning so it could just be that I wasn’t able to fuel that properly. Fridays are another of my strange days due to my work schedule so I’ll need to make a better plan for the upcoming weeks.

I’m glad that I’m still feeling committed to this challenge because otherwise it would be a wine and cheese kind of night. But that’s okay. It’s probably good for my brain to have to work through a tough day or two so I remind myself that these are JUST CRAVINGS. They are not actually in control. I still get to choose.

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – 2 eggs with zucchini in leftover curry sauce from last night.

Pre-workout snack – 1/2 an Rx Bar

Post-workout snack/Pre-yoga – 1/2 an Rx Bar

Lunch – Tuna salad with tons of celery, pickles, grapes, mayo, 1/4 avo / Plum / A few bites of curry chicken

Snack – Nuts and dried fruit

Dinner – Curry chicken / Smoothie

Snack – Nuts and fruit

This little trailmix thing I have going on is about to end. I love it and it’s really hard for me to just have a little bit. It’s such an easy snack to take with me, but I know I go overboard and I think I might be using the dried fruit as a sugar crutch. Time to let it go and set myself up with some actual protein and veggies for my snacks.

How did I move today?

Tough chest workout followed by yoga.

 

Whole45@45 – Day 18: Body Confidence

'I knew it! 'Chicken' comes first!'I feel like another shift has occurred and I really want to talk about it. But first of all, thanks again for sticking with me through all of this! It’s been 18 days now and it still feels easy. I’m really, really grateful for that.

I’m sitting in my backyard this morning and it’s chilly and gray and just the slightest bit breezy. It feels like fall and I’m loving it. I have a cup of Rooibos tea with collagen and I’m listening to one of my favorite sounds in the world – the wind in the leaves. Love love love it! On top of that, I am planning to go hiking with my son today so I couldn’t be happier.

Yesterday the whole eating craze thing was totally non-existent. I ate my meals, felt totally satisfied, and didn’t even have the urge to snack throughout the day. This tells me, I think, that these past couple days, I was experiencing an increase in progesterone leading to a faster metabolism, more hunger, and bigger cravings. Progesterone rises during the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle so this increased metabolism/hunger/cravings cycle is likely to happen every month. I don’t know what to do with all that. Maybe eat more, maybe increase my carbs, maybe try to work through it…I think it will depend. Rather than dwell on it, though, I’ll just move forward with a little more awareness.

It’s actually raining right now. Seriously, I just can’t tell you how much I am loving sitting out here typing while this lovely weather is happening!

All that being said, the real shift that I have felt occur has been in body confidence. At the beginning of this Whole45, my confidence was a bit low, I didn’t feel attractive, I felt like I kind of wanted to hide away for a while. Now just a couple weeks later, I can feel my confidence and body appreciation rising. But realistically, how much have I changed? Sure, I’ve lost a few pounds and some bloat, but in just two weeks, the change is not THAT significant. Maybe a couple people notice, probably not though. Because in all truth, the difference isn’t that extreme. But I feel much, much better. So what’s the difference?

I think the difference lies in how I am treating myself. Over the last few weeks, I have shifted how I nourish myself entirely over to things that are providing what my body actually needs. There’s no alcohol, no sugar, no junk. It’s all about nutrient-dense foods and it all tastes great! Honestly, I have zero intention of changing my health by taking away the joy of food. That simply isn’t going to happen; I need to love what I eat. I am also exercising consistently, making room for play (tennis, hikes), consciously adding a yoga day that I don’t teach or do at home, meditating, allowing for naps when necessary, paying attention to the ones I love, and being outside as often as possible, which feels joyful to me.

The more we care for ourselves, the more worthy we feel of self-care. This feeling of worth then expands, creating greater energy for life, more to give to those around us, more awareness, more INTENTION. We live more fully and feel more alive and have a greater sense of self-love, which translates back into confidence and self-worth, allowing us to expand yet again. It’s pretty amazing, really.

When I was drinking wine and eating a pack of crackers, it was a self-fulfilling cycle of frustration, sapping the energy right out of me and creating feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Difference – when I’m drinking wine and eating crackers (with amazing cheese) while connecting with friends, that’s living life richly. I’m good with that. (Just not right now…).

Food IS self-care. I’m experiencing that right now and it’s made me look at my body confidence a little differently too. Two weeks ago, uncomfortable in the gym. Yesterday, comfortable in my skin. That’s not to say that I don’t want to make changes in my body, I still have plans for that. The difference is in how I feel and carry myself. But I don’t look any different! So which came first – Body confidence or a better body to feel confident in?

I’m going to have to side with body confidence generated from a place of love and care.

I have a crazy-amazing friend who trains triathletes based on her own experiences as a world leading Ironman triathlete over at Rising Tide Triathlon. (Seriously, if you are looking to do your first Ironman or your 15th and want training that encompasses the whole you, check her out! She’s the best.) A while back, she and I had an email exchange around bodies and she said something that has stuck with me and replayed off and on in the back of my mind.

It was this: “If I am living the way I want to live, like incorporating the things I love and working through the stuff I don’t love in a conscious way, then isn’t the body that comes out of that, the body I should be happy with???”

My heart-felt answer is YES! Absolutely! Our bodies are all different and amazing and remarkable in their own right. If the life we are living is one that we love, then our bodies as a physical representation of that life are, indeed, loveable!

Now that I am feeding my body what it needs and showering it with self-care and love, it IS the body that comes out of that life. I can still want to change it, but I don’t love it any less. It is the same body that it was two weeks ago, but today I appreciate it for working so hard, being so capable, and affording me so much grace for the times I didn’t speak nicely about it. I am, in fact, proud of all it’s done despite how I’ve treated it at times.

I think this is where I got stuck. I knew deep down, and maybe not so deep down, that what I was putting into my body wasn’t really nourishing or nurturing it. I was placing great physical demands on it in terms of intense workouts and great psychological and emotional demands on it in terms of intense, well…, life. However, instead of giving it the food that it needed to navigate all of that, I was giving it wine and crackers. That’s not very fair. So I KNEW that I wasn’t caring for myself in the best way I could and I felt guilty about that, which created a negative spiral.

Have I fixed it for good with a few weeks of meat and veg? Hardly. But I’ve reminded myself that small shifts in self-care can translate into huge gains in terms of happiness, vitality, and renewed confidence. That’s a pretty good start.

What are you doing to care for yourself today? It doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture, you can absolutely start small. Just show yourself some love today. You totally deserve it.

Shine bright. xo

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – 3 eggs, garlicky chard, 1/4 avocado, sauerkraut, a few chunks of sweet potato

Pre-hike snack – Broccoli salad / Grapes

Lunch – Sausage / Apple / 1/3 c. Roasted sweet potato

Post-hike snack – Nuts and dried fruit

Dinner – Curried chicken / Broccoli / Smoky carrots

How did I move?

A beautiful hike with my son near Westcliffe. Those are some mountains I wouldn’t mind living in. It was beautiful! And I made it home in time for yoga so it was truly a wonderful day.

Whole45@45 – Day 17

drivebyJust doing a quick drive by today because it was a really busy day and I need some time to unwind. My eating totally fixed itself. I no longer felt like eating everything. I’m thinking it was probably hormonal (sorry if that’s uncomfortable, gentlemen). I’m just glad that I was able to eat and move on instead of feeling driven by hunger.

I’ll have more to share tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you are all having a wonderful week! Thanks for coming along on this ride!

What did I eat today?

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

Lunch – Celery salad with grapes, walnuts, onion, chives, mint / Chinese meatballs / Cherries

Dinner – Grassfed beef polish sausage / Broccoli salad with avocado, tomato, onion, pickles, and garlicy vinaigrette

How did I move today?

Yoga and tennis. Wednesdays are mostly rest days for me so I just enjoy whatever movement comes along, plus yoga.

 

 

Whole45@45 – Day 16

all the foodOh. My. Gosh. I can’t stop eating.

First of all, I’m sorry about not posting yesterday. I was just busy with life and then spent some time unwinding instead of blogging. I could try to share what I ate, but it really isn’t important. The thing is, I could NOT get satisfied. I was hungry all day. I felt like I might be craving things, but when I checked in, even imagining a few things that might be typical cravings, I didn’t want those foods. I just wanted food. And more food.

So I ate. A few times throughout the day I would distract myself or do something different. We met up with friends in the afternoon and I wasn’t hungry then, but I’d had a giant lunch and then a snack almost immediately after, so really had no possibility of feeling hungry. Then it settled down and I had just a very light snack before work and I figured I’d be done. But when I got home, I was still hungry and ate dinner.

Today I have been pretty hungry again, but it feels like it’s a bit less urgent. Still no cravings for foods that are outside the scope of the challenge, but I could keep eating at any moment. I’m not right now, though. I promise. Instead I stepped away from the kitchen, got some essential oils diffusing, and am sipping on bubbly water. I feel totally fine, but I do feel like I had a giant lunch and so I should be fine. Yet I could still eat. So it’s this weird place to be. I don’t know if any of you ever feel like this – unable to get satisfied. Maybe (probably?) I’m a little crazy, but I’m putting it out there just in case someone else has been through this and feels like they were crazy. Either you weren’t or we both are. In any case, you’re not alone.

Days 12-15 according to the Whole30 Timeline are often full of cravings. I’m thinking this is quite possibly what I’m going through right now. The thing is, I actually crave healthy food because I love it. I also crave the feeling of being full. And I use food to suppress any emotional stress or discomfort that I might be feeling. This doesn’t even have to be big emotions, right? For me, I might eat as a form of procrastination, to beat boredom, if I’m feeling lonely or uncertain, overwhelmed, or tired. I also love to eat for all kinds of happy emotions too, but that’s a different scenario. So while I might not be craving typically craveable foods right now, my brain might be trying very hard to go back to the way things were. It’s not a fan of change.

In order to work through the eating urge, I’ve often used meditation, getting up and moving, running an errand because just getting away can reset the mental state, and sometimes I’ve been able to figure out what I was really craving and have satisfied the actual need. This is definitely a skill that I continue to work on.

I believe that when we have food cravings, there is a deeper, more meaningful need that we are seeking to fill. That might be a need for connection or space or relaxation or freedom or celebration (Katie Den Ouden is a master at helping you to discover this), but sometimes it’s tough.

Sometimes, particularly when I am doing a Whole30, I simply decide to eat. I’m still in the process of readjusting my hormones and giving my body the actual nutrition that it needs so if I go a little over in some areas, maybe just maybe, my body actually needed it. I’m learning to listen and the learning phase means that I don’t have it all figured out anyway. So I stick to Whole30 compliant foods because they make my body healthier, and I allow time and patience and grace for my Whole30-mind that is working through the process.

Okay – one other thing. If I were doing a Whole30, this would be my Day 1, but since I’m doing 45 days, I’m already two weeks in. It seems crazy to me! I don’t know where those two weeks have gone, but I’m super excited that in theory, the hardest days are more or less behind me. I know there are more challenges on the horizon and I doubt I’m out of this little mini-food-craze thing yet, but my body is settling into the routine and I appreciate that.

What did I eat today?

Breakfast – 3 Italian meatballs / Roasted broccoli

Pre-workout snack – HB egg with a drop of mayo / Apricot / about 5 almonds

Lunch – Tropical cucumber salad with grilled shrimp / Zucchini soup which had a little sweet potato in it because I had a tough HIIT workout that needed refueling / Blackberries…Except it went like this…Salad with 5 shrimp and 1/2 a mango. Then back for 3 more shrimp and the other 1/2 mango. Then 1/2 c. soup. Then another 1/2 c. soup. Then a handful of blackberries, but I’d already had a whole mango. Geesh. When I was done, the strange thing was that I didn’t feel stuffed even. I just felt done.

Dinner – Chinese BBQ meatballs / Sautéed snap peas (A WellFed Weeknights recipe that is so good!) And I am definitely done eating. 🙂

How did I move?

HIIT workout and hopefully a dog walk tonight.

Yesterday I got a good posterior chain workout in and my body is feeling better all the time.