Weigh In Wednesday & Whole30 Week 3 Recap

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 25 of the Whole30! I'm less than a week from the end - I can't believe it! At this point, I'm pretty much on autopilot. Sleep is good, belly is good, face is clearing up a bit, and I feel pretty satisfied. My food choices are starting to get pretty predictable but it doesn't really bother me. I know eventually I'll probably want to add some different recipes but this is not the week for that!

These two weeks of school are technically the "end" of my semester. Then I will have a week of spring break and start our Integration course/studying for boards & preparing for clinical rotations. This week I've already had two exams - a midterm for Aging & a final for Behavioral Medicine. Today I have a group exam for OPP (my DO doctor class). Then its study, study, study. Tuesday - written exam. Wednesday - practical. Thursday- simulation lab. Friday - Intro to Clinical Medicine final & Aging final. WHEW.  

So yeah. That's why I'm continuing to keep things simple nutritionally. I see a lot of salsa chicken and salads in my future :) Lots of veggies w/ guacamole or fruit with almond butter. Easy peasy!

Breakfast is getting pretty random these days - eggs, strawberries, and leftover chicken salad.

One of my favorite creations - fried egg with a potato hash & slice of proscuitto.

Weekends mean I get to have a bacon treat! (I found a Whole30 compliant brand at Whole Foods - no  added sugar!)

Dinner made by my hubby - dry rubbed ribeye with roasted potatoes and a shaved asparagus salad (I had more because it was so good!)

Another random creation - sautéed shrimp with onions, mushrooms, potatoes.

Positive Updates

Overall, I feel great about the Whole30 and the lifestyle in general. I definitely see using the "Paleo/Primal" method as a "framework" for my life. After the challenge, I don't plan to follow this strictly (and I'm probably not following it strictly anyway with all the potatoes and fruit I eat!) but I think 80/20 would be a great approach for where I am right now. 


The biggest challenge that I didn't even anticipate was the start of Lent. My husband and I are both Catholic so we are supposed to abstain from meat on certain days + Fridays during Lent. I wouldn't say meat is a big part of my diet (and it's not supposed to be for people who follow Paleo - it's still mostly about plants & healthy fats) but it's a big enough part that I felt a lot hungrier on Ash Wednesday & last Friday. 

Lent just adds another layer of complexity to this journey. It's not a huge challenge since I can eat fish - though I don't care for it that much - but it does make meal prepping tricky.

On-the-go hunger is hard to deal with. I try to always have an emergency snack with me if I have to run errands or go to a doctors appointment but sometimes you just have to eat some compliant baby food...

Study time has also been a challenge. I like to mix up my study locations and since the Whole30, I've been avoiding my favorite Starbucks and Panera locations because I just didn't know what I could find that was compliant and I didn't want to tempt myself. 

Panera doesn't have very many options but I did utilize the "Hidden Menu" last weekend by ordering the Turkey Power Bowl with no pesto (boo, I love pesto) - it's turkey breast, spinach, red pepper, and egg whites. BLAHHHH. It got me through the study session but the smells of fresher baked bread where enticing.

I think bread and butter are the two things I "miss" the most. Like I have daydreams about sourdough toast with my eggs. Other than that though, I really don't have any specific food cravings which is a HUGE win! I feel very content with my meals and really don't feel deprived 90% of the time. 

Like I said last week, I probably lean on nut butters and fruits a little more than Whole30 people would like but thats literally my go to snack to feel full and satisfied. I also don't think I could've done this program is white potatoes had not been added as an approved item. They really helped settle my stomach when I was having belly pains and also add a nice flavor/texture to a lot of my meals. I have come to really enjoy sweet potatoes as well though :) Gotta have my starch! 

What's next?
--Update you on Crossfit, physical therapy, and running.
--Share some of my favorite recipes with you (be patient with me...school takes priority)
--Finish strong! March 2nd is in sight!
--Get shorts and summer ready!

I'm so excited to share with you all my results from Whole30 and all the things I've learned!

Stay tuned :)

Are you ready for spring? What are you most excited for?

Weigh In Wednesday & Whole 30 Week 2 Recap

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We reached the halfway mark for Whole30!  YAY!

Since my last post, the belly pains/pangs, whatever you wish to call them, have started to subside and my sleep has gotten much, much better. I roll out of bed and I don't feel exhausted. I'm falling asleep great & waking up not hating life. Now if only I didn't kick my blankets of in the middle of the night and get so cold!

Meals are still pretty similar from day to day which I'm completely content with - as long as I get to eat, I'm happy. The one thing we still really miss is being able to go out to dinner. It is NOT easy to eat out especially because I'm not the type of person to ask for substitutions. I like to enjoy my dinner as the chef meant for it to be enjoyed (since I don't have an pressing dietary restrictions normally). Really it's kind of great because not being able to grab something quick has really forced us to be mindful when preparing & enjoying meals. We waste less groceries and we are spending less money (I think...). Win - win!


We did decide to meet Nick's parents for lunch on Saturday at farm-to-table restaurant we've been to before. The compliant options were VERY slim. I had a salad topped with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions but it was sorely missing some protein like eggs, chicken, seeds, SOMETHING.  Then we split a burger (no bun) which turned out to be a bad idea because we were both starving and cranky the whole way home.

I think the hardest part of Whole30 is the social aspect. It's really difficult to explain Whole30 to people who aren't doing it or don't know much about Paleo/food sensitivities, etc. It can get pretty frustrating.

I find it interesting that no one bats an eye when people adopt a more "conventional" approach to health/weight loss like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Advocare, Shakeology, etc. (the list continues) but as soon as you do something as RADICAL as eat real, whole food, it's just CRAZY! Like I said, I'm a little frustrated but I'm learning that I need to not worry what other people feel about it. It's working for me.

Everyone thinks about food SO differently. Some people view food simply as fuel - a means to get from A to B. Other view food as an experience - something to be enjoyed, savored, and constantly varied. Some have emotional attachments to food, others could just eat because they have to. To me, that highlights exactly why nutrition is difficult for us to understand and agree upon. It's really hard to see food as fuel, macros, calories, energy when it has so many other connotations. When I eat pizza, I associate it with memories of my Dad. When make certain meals, I'm reminder of dinner with family.

Slowly, because of Whole30, I'm learning to separate the emotions I feel towards and about food (everything from comfort to loneliness to guilt and worthlessness) and learn to nourish my body. Eat to perform and thrive, not to feed a craving or emotion.

One of the "tools" I've learned so far is simply to put things into perspective. Are you hungry or are you just bored/sad/lonely/happy? Hunger strikes. Would you be happy eating a piece of protein and vegetables or are you craving a cupcake or chips? If you say "I would eat chicken and broccoli" (or similar healthy pairing), you are truly hungry and should eat. If you say, "I want to dive head first into a box of Girl Scout cookies," there's probably something else going on that I should address. Maybe my body is craving a walk or I'm just thirsty. Maybe I should reach out to a friend/family member to chat, switch to another activity, or find a similar distraction. Food should not be the answer to everything!

Now that I've finally gotten to the "higher energy, more sleep, no belly pains" phase of Whole30, I'm starting to see increasing in my fitness level and changes in my body. I feel like things are tightening up overall. I'm seeing increasing in my strength, especially my upper body strength which is pretty dismal. - maybe I'll finally be able to do a real push up soon! 

Other stuff
I'm working on rehabbing my back - I started a tapered steroid pack last week which helped tremendously and I started Physical Therapy on Tuesday. Last weekend I decided to take a few days off from activity which helped a lot, as well. We're working to strengthen my abs and fix my posture so I can protect my back and get full range of motion without pain.

I'm doing Crossfit as tolerated (so I modify where necessary) and I've been sticking to treadmill HIIT/interval workouts until I feel comfortable attempting a long run again. I'm hoping to do 5 or 6 miles this weekend and see how I feel. The weather really isn't helping my case at all because the last thing I want to do is run outside. Gotta suck it up :(

Must run - I feel like I cannot catch up on ANYTHING these days. Emails, lectures, laundry - it's all a big mess. When will I ever feel caught up again? 

Weigh In Wednesday & Whole30 Week 1

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hi all! Remember, no weigh in until the end of Whole30. I'm currently on Day 11! Yay for double digits and for being 1/3 of the way "done." Honestly the first week was very manageable and I felt great! No cravings, no headaches, no stomach issues, no cranky/angry feelings. It all felt very normal. 

Once the weekend hit, I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge. I still wasn't having any cravings but I do think my brain was expecting to go out to eat and maybe a milk stout (gah!).  It just didn't seem like a "normal weekend." By this point, I was starting to feel a little more tired than usual particularly in the afternoon. For a few days, I felt like I wasn't staying asleep the whole night but things are starting to get back to normal!
This is accurate.

Here's a look at a few "typical" meals these past few days. As always, we've been keeping it simple!


I've shared this before but holy YUM! Sweet potato (topped with cinnamon & coconut oil), egg, compliant prosecution. Add berries or some greens = best breakfast ever!

Same as above!

Today's breakfast: egg muffins chocked full of veggies, compliant/sugar free bacon (I finally found some at Whole Foods!), blueberries & blackberries.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! I eat eggs more days than not, vegetables, protein, and usually some fruit like berries/cuties/banana (if no sweet potato), & black coffee. I find that if I eat just fruit or a similar carb heavy breakfast, I get hungry quick! Fats and protein for fullness & flavor!

Spinach salad with berries & homemade tahini dressing + chicken breast + bacon

The BEST chili spaghetti EVER! Chocolate chili + spaghetti squash. Carrots and cashew butter (may be better than peanut butter).

Tuna salad over greens + "mashed" potato (with ghee) + tomatoes and pickles

Probably my favorite lunch so far - Chicken salad (recipe from Andrea @ A Doctor in the House). I topped mine with a few hemp hearts for crunch. Banana & tomatoes.

Also, fun fact! La Croix water is Whole 30 approved! It's great for when I'm wanting some carbonation or to switch up my water game!

Dinner is pretty typical for us - most of our dinners looked like this before the Whole30 anyway. We don't do a lot of casseroles or fancy things. Just proteins and roasted sides. 
Shrimp + lemon basil noodles, sweet potato, and berries/cashews.

Chicken sausage & peppers, avocado, and sauteed rainbow chard! 

Yeah, so we eat a lot of leftovers which is GREAT! Neither one of us is picky as long as there is food and we can throw something together quickly. Nick has been working a lot so we usually don't have time to prepare a meal and eat together anyway.  We just do what we can! 

The Whole30 encourages participants to limit snacking and rejects the now popular "eat 5-6 meals a day" thing which I tend to agree with. It does allow for pre & post-workout snack/meals IF you need them, depending on your level of training.

If I feel particularly hungry (like I would chicken and broccoli, not I want a cupcake), then I eat a snack. I try to grab some tomatoes, carrots, etc. first. If I'm about to workout or I get home from Crossfit, I may opt for a banana/apple with almond butter, 1/2 a Larabar with nut butter, an egg muffin, etc. I think in the future I'm going to try to eat more protein like some chicken breast if the snacking bug strikes, just to see how I respond. 

Banana + almond butter + coconut flakes + hemp hearts

I swear there are only two of us living here!

  • I'm still not having cravings for junk food/sugar/etc. In the past, I would CRAVE specific foods - like bean burritos, mac and cheese, pizza, etc. and right now, I just don't have that. I love the Whole30 for that result alone. I've felt imprisoned by my food thoughts for a long time, so to feel some relief from it is just amazing! 
  • I'm feeling "tighter" especially in my belly area. My pooch is slowly going away (thanks, Crossfit!). 
  • My energy is starting to pick back up after a few days of tiredness. My sleep is starting to get better, as well. 
  • I'm still eating the same amount of food as I was before the Whole30 - I don't feel deprived but I also don't feel like I'm "overdoing it" because I'm hungry all the time (the past few days have been a bit different though....see below).

  • For the past 2-3 days, I've had some weird stomach cramps that come and go. It feels like hunger pangs except theres no way I'm hungry because I either just ate or mentally just don't want to eat.
  • I've been leaning on compliant condiments (hot sauce and paleo mayo) a lot to add more flavor to my food. I think I need cut back a bit and embrace the natural taste of food/add more spices.
  • I have to watch my servings of potatoes and nut butters. These are things I really love and will have a tendency to load up on if I don't watch it. I've done a really good job of watching portion control so far but just need to keep it in the back of my mind as the new wears off this challenge.

This week
  • I hoping my belly pangs start to subside and I get the famous burst of energy soon. I'm still anxiously awaiting all the wonderful results people talk about!
  • Just keep doing what I'm doing. I feel happy with things so far!
  • Try a few more recipes or maybe take Whole30 out to dinner to a real restaurant - Valentine's Day is Saturday! It would be nice to have someone else prepare a dry grilled steak and veggies :) hint hint, Nicholas. 
  • Get my training runs in - I've been having trouble with my back (going to the doc tomorrow!). I'll update tomorrow about Crossfit and running :)

Any Whole30ers have these weird belly pangs? Any remedies for upset stomachs?

Weigh In Wednesday - Feb. 4

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An InLinkz Link-up

Hello friends! I'm not supposed to weigh in during Whole30 so there won't be another weigh in for a few weeks! I do "feel" lighter though - probably because my bloating has gone down (period probs). 

I'm currently going strong on Day 4 - things are still going well! According to this Whole30 timeline, I should be wanting to "kill all the things" but that doesn't seem to be the case at this point. On the whole, I feel pretty good. My energy is pretty normal, midafternoon seems to be when I get most tired but that's always been the case.

As far as food goes, I've found all my meals to be really satisfying and the only time I get hungry is usually when I'm bored or studying - again, this is nothing out of the ordinary. I don't feel deprived but I am starting to become more aware of what I "can't" have. Yesterday they were giving free pizza away that was leftover from a talk - obviously that's off limits. I saw many of my friends munching down on it but I didn't really want it - my lunch was good and it was easy to resist.

Really the only big change with the Whole30 has been preparation. I am FORCED to prep my meals and snacks - no taking shortcuts in the morning like grabbing a breakfast sandwich on the run or stopping by Panera after class. I see that as a very positive thing! I'm saving money and I'm eliminating some poor decisions. I don't feel like I'm spending an excess amount of time meal prepping - making eggs and heating up some veggies in the morning takes just as much time as stopping through a drive-thru, and its more filling!  

So what does a typical day look like? I try to stick to the recommended three meals plus a post-workout snack.  I have been loosely tracking my calories on MFP just to make sure I'm staying within a decent calorie goal (1700-2100, on average). If I'm truly hungry, I eat but I haven't had to resort to snacking yet. My meals are very filling - probably all the fiber and healthy fats!

Breakfast - sauteed spinach & three pepper blend + onions with an overmedium egg, not pictured: strawberries and blueberries.

Lunch - spaghetti squash with Chocolate Chili  + carrots with cashew butter

Dinner - Spaghetti Squash + Chocolate Chili, Mixed greens with tomatoes + sunflower seeds, & homemade spicy ranch + Cran-raspberry La Croux

Post-workout: 1/2 Carrot cake Larabar + 1 TBSP cashew butter

My goal is to layer on the veggies! The more, the better! And the chocolate chili is AMAZING - check out the link and go make some (it tastes like Skyline!).

I think the real test is going to come this weekend when I'm studying for my exam on Monday. Studying usually leads to stress eating and snacking - I really want to nip that in the bud. I'm going to try to do most of my studying standing at my white board. I also plan to take lots of walking breaks, and get my exercise in. I have a 7 mile long run scheduled for Saturday so let's hope for good weather! 

I started "real" Crossfit classes this week. Luckily we are doing "testing" for a new WOD program so it has been manageable. I have unlimited access to the gym this week so I'm trying to go 5 days this week to make sure I do all the testing workouts. It's going well and I love that I can scale the workout to my needs. One thing Crossfit has taught me that I am very strong in my lower body and pretty weak in my upper body/core - the contrast is amazing! I can do leg exercises all day but throw push ups and burpees at me and I die. I can't wait to see how my strength increases as the weeks go on!

Shoutout to the members of my Whole30 group for being amazing and very inspirational! I love sharing meals/recipes/support with each of you! 

February is the worst month for the winter blues. How are you combating them?

A Year Older.

Monday, February 2, 2015

On Friday I turned 25 years old. Excuse me while I freak out a bit.

There's just something about this age that seems so significant. I'm not longer in my early 20s but I'm not quite old enough to view myself as a full-fledged adult. I'm in limbo.  I find myself relating less and less to college age kids but still not able to fully relate to my older friends with families and careers. I'm not ready for kids and a mortgage but I'm also not down to go out every night of the week - hello, The Bachelor is on!

In my mind, I've always thought 25 would be the year everything just came together perfectly. I would have my life figured out and the moment the clock struck 12, life would hand me a big red bow, "Congratulations, you did it!"

Yeah. That didn't happen.

What did happen was that I met my friends (N and his friend tagged along, as well!) for dinner and drinks but still made it home in my flannel jammies by 11:30. Basically, the perfect evening. I had sushi (with no regard to the fact that it had been dipped in tempura and fried...maybe that's redundant. I don't know). It was great!

Earlier in the day, I got a massage and manicure after starting the day out with a delicious dark roast coffee and a quick workout!
Starbucks is so good that it deserves kisses!

On Saturday, my Mom came up to Indy for lunch and shopping, just the two of us! I feel like I never get to see her for any extended length of time so it was such a great day. We had Cheesecake Factory for lunch (fish tacos!) and I picked out a piece of cheesecake to share with Nick later on. Sadly, there was something about the Godiva Chocolate that did not agree with my tummy :(

Shopping meant stopping at Sephora and Aveda for some goodies! I had a certificate to get a full bottle of perfume from Christmas so I choose Daisy by Marc Jacobs! This is my fave next to Burberry Brit. I'm just happy to finally have some "grown up" perfume instead of the stuff from VS or Bath and Body Works - moving up in the world!

If you know me at all you know I love my lip colors - the Sephora birthday gift this year is these Nars lip crayons. Pure perfection! I also picked up a new crease brush (blend, blend, blend!), a nude lip color from Clinique, and some Glam Glow facial mask! Not pictured is my new Cupcake face mask from Lush! It's amazing!

Saturday night was pretty low key for us. We rented Sex Tape because the options at our local Red Box left something to be desired -- NOT a good movie. Hated it. I could've watched 27 Dresses for the millionth time and been completely happy. Oh well!

Sunday marked the beginning of our Whole30. Well, MY Whole30 since someone is a cheater and ate popcorn and beer. It probably wasn't a good decision to start on Super Bowl Sunday but a) I don't watch the Super Bowl, nor do I care & b) why do I need another excuse to eat crap? If you wait for the "perfect" time to start making a healthier choices, it kind of defeats the purpose. //offmysoapbox This just means I get to end a day early!

My first day of meals didn't look much different than a typical day of eating for me except I really tried to eliminate snacking. Because of the snow, I haven't had a chance to stock up and meal prep as I would like so I'll be doing most of that today. 

Breakfast: eggs with green peppers and onions sautéed in ghee, prunes, and 1/2 avocado.

Lunch: bacon wrapped chicken with winter squash seasoned with cinnamon. Not pictured: half Granny Smith Apple + a cup of chicken soup as a snack

Dinner: more bacon wrapped chicken, roasted potatoes, and tons of broccoli! I also had a couple dates rolled in coconut with my meal.

Tonight I'm roasting spaghetti squash and making some chocolate chili from this recipe. I'm also going to prep some sweet potatoes and who knows what else :)  So far, so good!