Friday, February 28, 2014

Whole30 -- Day 5

Happy Friday!

I know I said that last night's post was going to be short and then followed that statement up with a novel of a blog, but tonight's really is going to be short. It is now 8:00, and this is the first time I have sat down since work (where, while I normally stand all day, I have been sitting due to a great student teacher).

After work, I headed out west to (...drum roll...) Whole Foods. You may be thinking, Emmy, why did we just drumroll for Whole Foods? That's weird. Well, friends, this was the first time I have been to Whole Foods in Des Moines.

Yes, I said it. Whole Foods has been here for quite a while now (two years?), and I just now stepped foot inside.

It was probably good that I held off for so long. I feel like I could maybe spend a lot of time -- and infinitely more money -- at that place. Wowza.

After drooling over everything at Whole Foods, I headed next door to World Market and wandered around there forever. It's been a while since I have just wandered around a store, and it was kind of nice to spend however long I wanted looking at the most random things.

Finally, I went to Hy-Vee since Whole Foods didn't have something I was looking for (coconut aminos) and since I forgot sweet potatoes. (Note to self: don't go to a grocery store that is under construction at 5 p.m. on a Friday. That place was Crazy Town.)

Anyway, I ran my bazillions of errands, headed home, cleaned up the apartment a bit, did dishes, cooked dinner, did more dishes, took the trash out, and sat down to write.

So, here we are!


You should be sensing a theme now with breakfasts. Today's included chicken sausage, two eggs, half an avocado, a green pepper, a handful of mushrooms, and some salsa. I'm pretty sure that I smell like meat every day at school since my kitchen does not ventilate well. Awesome.


Lunch, as usual, was leftovers from dinner. Again, last night's dinner was amazing. That amazingness translated to lunch today as well. It was so good that I was seriously contemplating making it for dinner again tonight.


Instead, I decided to go for a little variety and save my Spicy Shrimp, Part Two for next week.


Despite the picture looking less-than-lovely, tonight's dinner was another success: coconut-crusted chicken (loosely adapted from Paleo Plan), with mango-jalapeno vinaigrette dipping sauce (loosely adapted from Happy Healthnut) and sided with roasted sweet peppers and sweet potato.

Side note: one of my sweet potatoes was white. It was definitely a sweet potato, but it was not the usual orange color. Weird.

Physically: I feel good. My tummy issues still feel like they are fairly resolved (fingers crossed they stay that way). Weighing oneself is not allowed during the duration of Whole30, and while I do not necessarily think I have lost weight, I do feel a lot less bloated, and I feel like my tummy is tighter than it has been in a while. Hopefully it will get even tighter (and smaller) when I can start adding some workouts back in. Other than that, I have a killer headache right now and am absolutely exhausted, but I've had a fairly busy couple of days, so that likely has a lot to do with it.

Emotionally: I'm feeling good. I'm looking forward to this weekend where I can just sit and chill and watch TV and read and not have to do anything. I think level of relaxation will be very good for me. (I am, however, a little nervous for the weekend in regard to food, as I tend to thrive with routine and go off track without it. I know, though, that I will stick to Whole30 and not give in a single bit.)

Cravings: Nothing. Seriously. Is that crazy, or what? I don't feel like I miss anything at the moment. That really, really surprises me.

Alright, friends! I'm off to camp out in front of Netflix -- likely for about 20 minutes until I crash on the couch.


post signature

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Whole30 -- Day 4

This is going to be a short post, as it has been a hectic day.

First, I had to call my landlord on Monday because my kitchen sink was not draining at all, and water was instead bubbling up in the attached sink. On Tuesday, he fixed it, so I was finally able to do all of the dishes from Monday. Last night, as I was doing the dishes from Tuesday (since I was so over doing the prior day's dishes due to the fact that I had already done a bazillion dishes), the sink did the exact same thing. So, my landlord fixed it this morning. When I got home from school, I did all of these dishes:

Let me tell you something about the Whole30: you use a lot of dishes. I think I have used every single pot, pan, wooden spoon, spatula, knife, cutting board, and Tupperware at least three times in the last four days.

But I digress. Let me get back to Hectic Day.

I did all my dishes, bummed around for a bit doing absolutely nothing, cooked dinner (which I'll get to shortly), and headed out for an appointment.

I was only going to be gone for an hour, and I almost didn't even lock my door. In retrospect, that would've been the smart choice: when I returned home, I could not get into my apartment. The key went into the lock, the knob turned, the lock sounded like it was unlocking, but nothing happened. I seriously tried for about ten minutes before calling my landlord.

(Thankfully, I live in a secure-entry building, so I was indoors rather than standing in sub-zero temperatures.)

He came over, gave it a go for another 15 minutes, and called a locksmith. We waited for 30 minutes until the locksmith arrived, who then took another 20 minutes trying to get into the apartment.

(I was nervous that the lock would turn immediately when my landlord showed up, so when he couldn't unlock it and the locksmith couldn't unlock it, I was like, "Okay, this is legit.")

This is what I'm dealing with until tomorrow, friends:


Now, let's chat about the stuff you really want to read.


This breakfast -- or some variation thereof -- should be starting to look a bit familiar. I fried up a link of chicken sausage, sauteed a green pepper with some 'shrooms, scrambled all of that with an egg, and topped that deliciousness with an avocado and some salsa.


As usual, lunch was last night's leftovers: prosciutto-wrapped chicken stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts topped with Brussels sprouts and sided with an apple. This meal was pretty good last night, but it was just too much today. The Brussels sprouts were not the best I've ever made, and there was just too much chicken. I can only handle so much, I think.

Side note: I would be lost if I didn't get to eat an apple every day. I love 'em. Interestingly, since I'm not eating sugar at any other time during the day, the apple tastes SO ridiculously sweet -- almost too sweet. Crazy, huh?


Tonight's dinner was quite popular on Instagram. I had originally planned on making another chicken dish, but after chicken last night for dinner and today for lunch, I just couldn't do it. I have been eating so much meat lately, which is so unlike me, and I just needed a break. (Yes, I realize shrimp is still meat, but it's a lot lighter than beef or chicken, so there.)

I adapted a recipe I saw on Pinterest for Spicy Shrimp w/ Chilies and Garlic and basically just mixed olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic, and shrimp in a Ziploc and then sauteed it. I sided it with roasted sweet potato and sauteed green beans, and wowza: it was delicious. I seriously think I might make this every week. There was a great kick and excellent flavor, and it just felt so fresh and light compared to everything I have been eating lately.

Physically: I feel pretty good physically today. I'm not as tired as I have been (although I'm planning on crashing in bed as soon as I hit "publish"), and my stomach has not had any rumblings today (which was good since I was stuck in the hallway for so long).

Emotionally: So far, I feel like I'm easily getting used to the only-eat-when-you're-hungry idea rather than the it's-after-school-so-I-must-eat idea. I'm hoping this is something that remains for the duration of the program.

Cravings: NONE. I even went to the grocery store and passed a bazillion "yummy" things that I looked at and just thought, ew.  Speaking of "ew," have I got a video for you!

You're welcome.

I was going to write a whole lot more, but now the only thing running through my mind is quotes from the best video ever.

See ya on the flippity flop!

post signature

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Whole30 -- Day 3

Pity party, table for one.

While the day started off just fine, I have to admit, I'm kind of down tonight. I sat down for dinner at my dining room table (something I'm trying to do every night in order to actually think about eating and to enjoy my food), and it just seemed like a really pathetic scene to me: I had set the table (pretty placemat included), had plated my food in a photo-worthy manner, was listening to some calming music...and was sitting all alone.

I've been reflecting on how emotionally-charged food/eating is, and I think it just really got to me tonight: meals are meant to be shared with people you love, not to be eaten alone.

And then this song came on:

And it got even more pathetic all up in here.

So yes: pity party, table for one (quite literally).

Breakfast: I totally spaced on taking a picture of breakfast this morning, but I bet you can envision it. I sauteed a handful of mushrooms with a diced green pepper and scrambled that with three eggs. Then I topped that deliciousness with a sliced avocado and a healthy dose of salsa.  It was crazy-good and kept me full until lunch, which wasn't until 12:30 today.

Lunch: I didn't forget to take a picture per se, but I didn't think I needed to since it was simply last night's leftovers: grilled salmon with avocado salsa, roasted broccoli, and roasted sweet potato.


Tonight I made Plaid and Paleo's Paleo Sun-dried Tomato- & Artichoke-Stuffed Chicken and sided it with roasted Brussels sprouts and a few olives. This was the only meal thus far that I did not finish completely. It was super good, but it was really filling, and I wasn't super hungry (likely due to my emotions). I ended up tossing a chunk of prosciutto, a few Brussels sprouts, and a few olives.

Physically: Like yesterday, I still have a twinge of a headache, but I don't know if that's related to my diet, my emotions, or what. And also like yesterday, my tummy is going absolutely crazy. It sure is doing its job of flushing out the toxins, that's for sure...

Emotionally: I'm not feeling cranky per se, but as you can tell from above, I'm feeling just a bit blah. Again, I don't think that's necessarily because I'm "dying" without sugar and Taco John's but rather because of recent events.

Cravings: I still don't feel like I'm craving anything, which is definitely good. However, there were a couple of times today where I was like, Mmm...I want that. The first was when I went into an adjacent room at school to microwave my lunch, and a student was eating a Smore's Pop Tart; I definitely do not eat a lot of Pop Tarts on a regular basis, but wow, that looked tasty. The second time was when I went to my afternoon meeting, and MB brought Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for everyone. All I wanted to do was stare at and smell those tiny little pieces of heaven. So, that's what I did!

I was supposed to go bowling this evening, but I opted to stay home and let my back rest up a bit more. While it's feeling much better than it did yesterday and especially the two days prior, it's still far from perfect, and I'm pretty sure throwing a 12-pound ball repeatedly would not be the smartest choice. This is new to me, friends: usually I make stupid decisions and workout (not that bowling is a workout) before injuries are healed, thus injuring them more.

Progress, people: progress.

I feel like I already have a pretty good idea,
but it never hurts to dig a little deeper.
Tomorrow is a new day, yo. See you then!

post signature

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Whole30 -- Day 2

Are you sick of Whole30 posts yet? No? Good -- you have at least 29 more posts like this to read. :)

In all seriousness, though, thank you for sticking around while I document my Whole30 journey. As I said in my previous post about the Whole9 factors, I seriously consider this blog my outlet and you readers my support system. So thank you.

Today, like yesterday, went well. I hope it's actually going well and I'm not just in the "so what's the big deal?" phase.

I decided that it would be best to document this journey in a succinct and uniform manner each day, using the following headings: breakfast, lunch, dinner, physical feelings, emotional feelings, and cravings.


Breakfast today consisted of one link of chicken sausage (Whole30-compliant chicken sausage, of course), one egg, one green pepper, a handful of mushrooms, a handful of spinach, and a bit of salsa. It was tasty and kept me full until lunch (which was a longer stretch than yesterday).


Per usual, I ate last night's dinner leftovers for lunch today: Garbage Stir-Fry with Curried Cabbage and roasted Brussels sprouts. I also had my fruit serving for the day: a huge apple. I found it interesting how much faster organic apples "brown" than non-organic, preservative-filled ones do. Even though it looked different from my "normal" apples, it tasted spectacular.


I was nervous about dinner tonight, as I am always a bit hesitant cooking salmon. However, it turned out awesomely. I made Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa, roasted sweet potato, and roasted broccoli with lemon juice. That was a lot of food, but you'd better believe that I ate it all.

Physically: I'm not experiencing the carb flu (thank God). In fact, I feel pretty darn good. I'm a bit tired, but I think that's simply because it's the middle of the week, not because I'm not eating sugar. And I do have a bit of a headache, but again, I don't feel like that's necessarily related to a lack of carbs. My tummy has been a bit, um, different, but I know that that's a good thing, as it's getting rid of all the icky and making room for the good.

Emotionally: I'm great! I have spent the last several days reading up on the Whole30 program, devouring It Starts With Food, scouring the site for testimonials, trying to find critiques (to no avail). I am pumped to continue on this journey and cannot wait to see the slew of results that nearly everyone has achieved. Zero crankiness here, folks!

Cravings: None! I seriously don't feel like I'm missing anything -- yet. There have been some weird occurrences, though. For instance, I saw a Rice Krispies treat wrapper in the trash can at school, and I thought, "Hmm. That sounds kinda good." But that thought quickly disappeared. Pictures of cupcakes and cookies on Facebook look tasty, but I don't want to leap through my screen and inhale them. I think the most difficult thing craving-wise has been coming home from school and not immediately heading to the kitchen for popcorn, cottage cheese, cheese and crackers, etc. It's the habit rather than the craving that has even remotely gotten to me. But again, I quickly realize that I'm not really hungry and rather just wanting to eat out of routine.

So yes, overall, I'm doing really, really well. Yes, I understand I still have 28 days to go, but for now, I'm GREAT.  :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Tuesday!

Peace out.

post signature

Whole9 + Goals

Prior to discussing my daily eats and emotions, I wanted to introduce the idea of Whole9, another concept from Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.

According to the Hartwigs, these are the nine factors that are crucial to optimal health, and I wholly believe that this is accurate.  After all, how can someone be as healthy as possible without adequate sleep? proper nutrition? spending time outdoors?

In the Day 0 email that I received after signing up for the Whole30 program, I was instructed to create goals based on no more than three of the nine factors.  In order to do that, however, I had to first familiarize myself with what the nine factors were.

Obviously this is the primary factor targeted with Whole30: by omitting things like sugar, alcohol, grains, and other foods that quite possibly have negative affects, I will end unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal my digestive tract, and balance my immune system. By doing so, I will become healthier in so many ways.

This factor includes not only how much one sleeps but also how one sleeps. For instance, it is important to sleep for a certain number of hours but it is also important to sleep well during that time, spending the right amount of time in each phase. For more information (since I am definitely not super well-versed in this area), check out this article.

Healthy Movement
I appreciate that this factor does not necessarily always mean hard-core exercise or training. Rather, healthy movement also equates to low-intensity movement, natural movement (like carrying groceries, pushing a stroller, etc.), and even the absence of movement -- relaxation.

Fun & Play
This factor is also included under the umbrella of healthy movement, as it means playing Frisbee with one's dog, running around with one's children, etc.

Stress Management
Essentially all factors can cause stress in life: for example, if I am not over-exercising and not resting enough, my body will experience negative stress. This factor includes lifestyle modification, focused and expert consultations, and supplement interventions.

This factor emphasizes that we can only be truly healthy when we interact with others (in person, not just via social media) and have a positive support system, people who help with accountability, motivation, and inspiration.

Natural Environment
Clearly, it is essential for us to spend time outdoors, whether it be walking around the lake, laying in the grass, or chasing kids through the neighborhood. It is important for acquisition of vitamin D, but I'm sure there are a bazillion other health benefits as well.

Personal Growth
This factor includes a number of different things: spirituality, philanthropy, volunteerism, etc.  Essentially, it is imperative to have goals for oneself that are not focused solely on one's profession, one's fitness, etc.

While often ignored or undervalued, this is a critical factor that basically means "moderation or self-restraint," knowing when to say when, when it's okay to do something not super healthy, knowing oneself and one's own habits and preferences.

Again, I was asked to create goals for no more than three of the aforementioned factors. Because I am a rebel, though, I created goals for four:

  1. Nutrition: I will eat only Whole30-compliant foods throughout the entire 30-day challenge.
  2. Healthy Movement: I will work out (either run, go to Farrell's, or do a Jillian Michaels DVD) at least three days per week.  (A related goal is that I will NOT do anything to exacerbate my back injury, which likely means that I will not work out for a few more days.)
  3. Sleep: I will sleep at least seven hours -- from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- Sunday through Thursday.
  4. Personal Growth: I will read at least two books over the course of the 30-day program.

I truly believe that all four of these goals are attainable, an extremely important aspect of SMART goals.

In addition, I have strong self-efficacy (belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations) in regards to all four goals. I commit to being successful, and therefore I will be successful.

As always, thank you all for helping me fulfill the sixth factor: socialization. I turn to all of you for support and accountability, and I cannot thank you enough.

post signature

Monday, February 24, 2014

Whole30 -- Day 1

Well, I made it through the first day!

I woke up bright and early (at 5:15 a.m.) to take a steak out of the fridge so that I could let it warm up a bit before cooking it for lunch. I headed back to bed for about 45 minutes and got up at 6:00 to start searing the steak. The plan for lunch was to make Stupid Easy Paleo's Cinco de Mayo Steak Salad (with parsnips instead of jicama, no avocado because they were too not-ready yet, etc.). As soon as I started cooking the steak, I realized that it was too big to eat just at lunch and that I would have half of it for breakfast as well, which then altered my meal plan from what I had originally created yesterday.

Here's breakfast:

I sauteed two small sweet potatoes, one green pepper, and a quarter of an onion in about half a tablespoon of olive oil. I then dumped those in a container and topped them with half the seasoned (with salt and pepper) steak.

That definitely kept me full until lunch, but today was my early-lunch day. I ate breakfast at 8:00 and lunch at 10:45. I hope that breakfast will keep me full tomorrow, too, when I have to wait an additional 90 minutes to eat.

For lunch, I had my version of the Cinco de Mayo salad:

I forgot to take the picture until I was more than halfway done eating. Oops!
I mixed about two cups of spinach with one chopped tomato, one diced parsnip (which, in turns out, I didn't quite like), and half of the steak. I drizzled a little balsamic vinegar on top to make it kind of like a "real" salad with dressing. (The fat for this meal came from the steak as well as the tiny bit of oil that I used to saute it.)

In addition to the salad, I ate an apple to get my fruit serving in for the day. I wasn't super hungry after the salad, though, so I waited about an hour-and-a-half and ate that as a snack (even though those technically are not recommended with Whole30).

When I got home from work, I was exhausted. Thankfully, coffee (and the caffeine that comes with it) is Whole30-compliant (and is to die for with coconut milk instead of cream and sugar), but I was without my afternoon Mio Energy pick-me-up. So, I took a bit of a snooze before dinner. I'm hoping that the loads of "added energy" that come with clean-eating will come fairly quickly...

For dinner tonight, I made Garbage Stir-Fry with Curried Cabbage from Nom Nom Paleo and some roasted Brussels sprouts:

I know it doesn't look pretty, but it was delicious -- and made a ton. I will definitely be making this again and may throw in more curry powder and some other veggies next time. I ate at the table tonight, which I never do and which is one of my goals for Whole30. Granted, I paged through catalogs while I ate dinner, so it wasn't totally focused just on eating, but it's not like I was dining with anyone either -- well, aside from this one, that is:

1.) I know it's gross to have a cat on the table, but have you ever tried to train a feline?
2.) The only times she ever wants anything to do with me are the following: when I'm eating, when I'm grading papers, or when I'm doing sit-ups. She's so inconvenient -- good thing she's cute.
I have not been hungry at all today, which is kind of surprising to me. I attribute a lot of that to drinking buckets of water (with lemon). Seriously, I have probably had over 120 ounces of water today.

Today did, however, present one of Whole30's first challenges: book club. Book club is one of my favorite days each month, as it is a time to get together with girlfriends, drink copious amounts of wine, and eat delicious appetizers. Tonight, I was prepared: I ate right before I headed over so that I wasn't tempted by AM's amazing spread of apps, and I brought along my own cup of lemon water so that I avoided the wine. Yay, me!

For now, though, I'm going to sign off.  I am fading fast thanks to a muscle relaxer (stupid back muscle is still hurting so much that I want to throw up) and should probably hit the hay to as-much-as-possible avoid the grogginess that is sure to come tomorrow -- and to prevent narcotic-induced word vomit on this post.

I hope you all had a lovely Monday, and I will "talk" to you tomorrow!  :)

post signature

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Whole30 -- Day 0

Before I say anything about the Whole30, y'all have done this, right?

Me too.  Every time I carry my groceries from my car to my second-floor apartment.

Today, however, my body told me that maybe that wasn't the greatest idea: I pulled the biggest muscle EVER in my lower back. Carrying groceries. Seriously.

It hurts so bad that I can barely move, and I may or may not be whining incessantly (yes, to my cats).

So learn from my mistakes: two (or three or four) trips are better than killing yourself.

And now, on to the Whole30.

Today was my last day of freedom. Therefore, I celebrated accordingly: egg souffle, coffee cake, and cranberry juice for breakfast; Zio's pizza (one piece of Thai and one piece of sausage and mushroom) for lunch; a few Good 'n Plenties and Whoppers for a snack on my drive back to Des Moines; and sushi and tofu spring rolls for dinner.

There was not a whole lot of "whole" food eaten today.

In Omaha this weekend, I spent a lot of time reading It Starts With Food (which I highly recommend, even if you aren't considering the Whole30) and putting together my meal plan for Week One:

Self-created template.  You're shocked, I know.

It took me quite a while: I had to find recipes, make sure they fit "the rules," and plug them into my meal plan in a way that would work for my schedule. (Interestingly enough, on my way back to Des Moines, Mags texted me and Linds and said that she was following one of the meal plans that I had pinned. I didn't even realize that I had pinned something so wonderful -- and something that would've saved me so. much. time. Oh well.)

After I made my meal plan, I wrote my grocery list:

Produce is in the left-hand column, protein is in the middle, and non-refrigerated stuff is on the right. Looks expensive, right? It was.

On my way back to Des Moines from Omaha, I stopped at Costco and Trader Joe's for the majority of my list.  Unfortunately, I am going to have to hit up HyVee or Dahl's for a few random things (cilantro, kimchi, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, short ribs, and coconut aminos (okay, maybe Whole Foods for that last one).

Here's the haul:

It is just so weird that I strained a muscle trying to get all of this upstairs, huh?

So yes, it was pricey: I spent about $75 at Costco and $80 at Trader Joe's. However, I bought a lot of organic meat at Costco, and I will only use a little of it this week; I am good on ground beef and chicken breasts for a while. I also bought a ton of veggies (like, a HUGE bag of broccoli, tons o' mushrooms, and two bags of Brussels sprouts); I am assuming I will have some of that produce as leftovers into next week, so I will likely not need to spend nearly as much on produce then. Hopefully. I still probably have another $20 to spend at a regular grocery store on the afore-mentioned could-not-find-today items, but we'll see.

I'm rationalizing the cost like this: I will not be spending money at restaurants, and I will not be spending money on booze. So while my grocery bill will be a bit higher, I will likely be breaking even (or close to it) because I will not be dining out or drinking.

Again, hopefully.

But back to what I did today:

Prior to putting all of the groceries away, I did just as the Whole30 suggests: cleaned out everything* non-compliant from my cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer. I currently have five paper bags of food waiting for one of my former students to pick up as soon as she gets off work.

Right now, I am three hours from changing my life. I am so excited, as I know that I am going to feel 150% better, I know that I am going to look 150% better, and I know that I can do it. However, I am also nervous, as this is a big lifestyle change.  Not only am I going to be redefining what I eat (and therefore my physical response to it), I am also going to be redefining how I eat (and therefore my psychological response to it).

It will be hard; but, it will be worth it. And, most importantly, I am worth it.

Here's to a new beginning!

*Okay, okay: I kept some beer, but I swear I will not touch it until the 30 days are over.

post signature

Friday, February 21, 2014

Whole30 Worries

According to Facebook, there are a few of you considering joining me for the Whole30: that's awesome!  Thank you!  I'm also super pumped that Mags and Linds, two my best friends at work, are on board.  Since we work super closely together almost every day, it's a great built-in accountability system.

As I said before, I have been doing a lot of research over the past couple of weeks (surprise, surprise).  I started the book last night and absolutely love it.  It's written with TONS of research-based reasoning, but it's written in such an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand manner.

Purchase from Amazon
Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the creators of the Whole30 program, are adamant about not taking "cheat" days during the duration of the program.

"The only way this will work is if you give it the full thirty days: no cheats, slips, or 'special occasions.'"

After all, it is supposed to be a systemic reset, and this reset cannot occur if there is constant "cheating" happening.

In the free material from the Whole30 website, the "tough love" really hit home with me:
  1. "You have done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written."
  2. "You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident."
  3. "You never, ever, ever have to eat anything you don't want to eat. [...] Toughen up. Learn to say no.
And when talking about shortening the program, the materials really hit me hard:

"You owe yourself 30 days. [...] If you cop out now, you're telling yourself that the commitments you make to yourself are open to compromise. You're telling yourself that you are not important enough to honor your commitment to you. But that's not true, is it? You ARE important. You ARE worth a full commitment."

Powerful, right?

In order to stick to the Whole30 for, well, the whole thirty, I need to anticipate the obstacles that I will experience, and there are already quite a few.

First, I have dinner plans with two girlfriends next week. We are heading to Tacopocalypse on Thursday for some delicious bites.  Right now, I have NO idea what to order. If any of you have a.) completed the Whole30 or b.) been to Tacopocalypse and can offer some suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Second, my spring break is Day 19 through Day 28 of my Whole30. While I am not hitting up Daytona or Key West this year, I still know there will be temptations. And, I always do better when I have a routine, so not having a routine for a week-and-a-half during this strict plan just might kill me.

Third, I have a social get-together on Day 23, a happy-hour-type gathering at which there will be ample beverages, party food, etc. It is a potluck, however, so I have already planned on bringing a couple of Whole30-approved appetizers, likely from this list from Plaid and Paleo.

Fourth, I am hoping that I will be going on some dates in the near future. Generally, dates include drinks and/or dinner and/or dessert, and I am going to have to find a delicate way to order while out with new people. I mean, I don't want them to think I'm a finicky eater, a crazy person, a fun-hater, etc. I guess I will just cross that bridge when I come to it.

Obviously these are only four of the myriad of challenges and obstacles I anticipate arising in the next 30 days. But, I figure it's a good start if I'm at least thinking of them.  :)

Again, I would love for all of you to join me on this crazy adventure!

post signature

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Whole30 (HalfCrazy)

Hello friends!

Thank you all for your kind words on my break-up post. I am doing very well, and I attribute that to the most amazing support system in the world. I love you all.

In order to help jumpstart me back into healthy living, I have decided to embark on quite an adventure, and I am hoping some of you are interested in coming along for the ride.

On Monday, February 24th, I will be starting my first Whole30.

Essentially, this program serves as a reset button for the body by flushing out toxins and replacing them with real, whole food. It is very, very restrictive, which is something I definitely don't usually support, but I sincerely believe my body needs a good, hard push in the right direction, and this seems like a really great, healthy way to do that.

I like that the program focuses on the physical aspect of food (i.e. what negative affects each of the "restricted" foods can have on the body) but also the psychological aspect. For instance, any type of pancake (even those made with "allowable" ingredients) are banned, as those pancakes will trigger "comfort food" thoughts, which in turn solidify the hold that food has over our minds.

So, here is what I will be eating for 30 days:

  • Good, quality protein
  • Lots and lots and lots and lots of vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Healthy fats
  • Food with small lists of pronounceable ingredients (or, preferably, NO ingredient lists since most of the food will be in its natural state)
And here is what I will not be eating for 30 days:
  • Added sugar (real or artificial)
  • Alcohol
  • Grains (even quinoa)
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Potatoes (other than sweet potatoes, thank God)
  • Carrageenan, sulfites, MSG
  • Paleo-ified baked goods

So yes, this is restrictive. And no, this is not a "diet" that I will be sticking to for my whole life. This is simply a plan to help reset my body and jumpstart my healthy-living regime. I am hoping that after 30 days, I will feel better in a bazillion different ways.

For the past week, I have downloaded all Whole30-related documents I can find, I ordered the book (and will start reading it tonight since it just arrived today), I created a meal plan template for each of the 30 days, I created a Whole30 Pinterest board, I have started finding recipes, and I have told everyone who will listen to me about this crazy adventure.

Over the course of the 30 days, I hope to blog every single day, as I think it will be interesting to track how I'm feeling (both physically and psychologically), and it will obviously hold me accountable. I will take before and after photos, and I will weigh myself on Day 1 and again on Day 30, but nowhere in between. I will workout as regularly as I can, although they do not advise any crazy-ridiculous training, especially the first week, as I will be fueling my body in a manner that will take some getting used to.

If you are interested in joining me (or if you have done this before and have some ideas for me), please let me know in the comments. I would love to create a positive support system throughout the course of this program, and it's always easier to stick to something when you have a team by your side.  Let me know!

And, wish me luck!

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Hello friends!

I realize that I have been MIA for most of 2014 thus far, given that I posted my New Year's resolutions and then nothing else.  I apologize, but there has been good reason.

Earlier this year, The Boy and I decided that we should take a break.  I do not want to go into too many details here, as I believe that there are just some things that should remain private, but essentially we concluded that we were in two different places in life, that I wanted one thing and he wanted another.

I was absolutely devastated and pretty much a disaster for about a week: my face was red from crying so much, my eyes were the most swollen they have ever been, my nose was scabby from having been blown so much, etc.  Absolutely anything could set me off in an emotional outburst (usually including lots of ugly-crying), whether it was a student doing something nice for me, a commercial on TV, an article about a rescued animal, etc.  Needless to say, I was a wreck.

And then, I was not.

For the past three weeks, I have been the happiest I have been in probably a year.  (And interestingly enough, that makes me quite sad, simply knowing that I was not happy for so long, especially when I tried so hard to convince myself that I was.)

I am not sure exactly what clicked, what made such a difference in my brain, in my heart.  I truly think that I simply did a lot of thinking and realized that I was tired; I was exhausted.  I had spent a good part of a year trying so hard to make something work, putting so much energy toward something that was just not going to happen, that when I finally wasn't investing that effort, I felt a big sense of relief, of peace.

I realized that I was ready to be happy again -- and even more importantly, I realized that I deserved to be happy again.

(And that is nothing against The Boy: I have no hard feelings toward him, and I truly care for him and want nothing but the best for him.  I genuinely want for both of us to be happy, understanding that that is likely not going to happen when we are together.)

So, that is what I am going to do.  I am going to get back to eating healthfully, I am going to get back to working out regularly, and I am going to get back to writing more-than-occasionally, all things that I think I was really too emotionally-exhausted to do over the past year and, especially, over the last few months.

Get ready, World.

*It is also very, very important to note with this post that I have the most wonderful friends and amazing family in the entire universe.  I am a lucky, lucky girl to have so many amazing women in my corner.  Thank you: I love you more than words can say.