Sticking a Fork in the Whole30

Well it’s about time I give you my Whole30 wrap up, don’t you think? Only a few weeks behind, but better late than never. Actually, I’m kind of glad I’m writing this a couple weeks after we finished our Whole30 because it gives me a little more insight into the whole experience. (And if everything I just wrote makes zero sense to you, you might want to read Part I, II and III)

The biggest thing for me is that this whole experience has really changed the way I think about food, the way we shop for it and how I’m ok with looking at good, healthy food as something worth investing in, because really I’m investing in my long term health and well being. Oh, and this morning for breakfast, I had a smoothie made from Kale, 1/2 an avocado, goji berries and applesauce. Hello, hippie much?

I can honestly say I loved the way my body, mind and spirit felt during the Whole30. The best word I can use to describe it as is…clean. And the first week or so after getting off the Whole30, and going back to a non-paleo diet,  Joey and I both felt like crap. I’m still getting random headaches here and there and I truly feel like I have less sustainable energy throughout the day.   I’m not saying it’s ALL related to food, because I know I’m more stressed with work at the moment, but a curious coincidence, dontcha think?

Full disclosure: Post Whole30 I’ve totally fallen back down the sugar rabbit hole. I seriously can’t stop myself when it comes to one cookie vs. three, and the fact that we had hot fudge brownie fixings in the house from Joey’s birthday, well it was all over for me. No. Self. Control. I need to get this in check. Like yesterday.

Eating Habits Now: I’m much more relaxed about the things I’m eating, but I am trying to stick to a mostly paleo diet, choosing lean meats, veggies, fruits and nuts as much as possible. We have yet to buy milk or cheese for the house (not to say I haven’t had either outside of the house, but it’s a start). I made a cauliflower rice dish just last week.  After watching Food Inc. again, I’m very serious about only wanting to buy grass fed beef and free range chicken. I’ll keeping going to my favorite local produce stand until it closes for the year. We’re changing. It won’t happen over night, but I feel a conviction deep inside of me.

Whole30 PartII?: Joey, completely under his own influence, wants to do another Whole30 in October. I think he feels bad because of all of those cheat days 😉 We’ll see what happens.

As for all the questions of, “Isn’t it hard to eat like that?” I’ll quote my favorite motivational line from It Starts with Food:

“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”

So who’s coming over for some Paleo Southwest Meatloaf tonight?

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Whole 30: OOooo We’re Halfway There

I’m having a little Bon Jovi moment as I realize that we’ve hit the halfway mark on our Whole30 journey. I may or may not be doing some Jersey Shore-esque fist pumps from this side of the computer screen.

But let’s focus now because I have a confession. As I mentioned in my last post, I was in Philly for a bachelorette party this past weekend and I did enjoy a few alcoholic beverages :). Yes, that is a Whole30 No-No, but I gave it a ‘whoops, sorry about that’ and moved right along. Haven’t broken any other rules, I promise you that, and I’m not going to let one little indiscretion throw me completely off track.

Wednesday, for example, was a huge test of my willpower. First, I spent my lunch hour in a meeting where there was free lunch, but it was all “sandwichs, cookies, soda” so I rode it out with a bottle of water and grabbed a grilled chicken salad post meeting. Normally I would have had at least 2 cookies, and maybe taken one for a late afternoon snack. And speaking of my sugar monster, later that evening we had consumer marketing research sessions where we’re put in a client lounge with bowls of mini-chocolate bars, cookies, and M&M dispensers at every turn. And to top it off there were gourmet cupcakes to celebrate a colleague’s birthday. It was so tempting to say, “Oh just one cupcake, it’s a special occasion,” but then I channeled my inner badass, reminded myself that I’m stronger than a f**kin’ cupcake (sorry, my inner badass has a potty mouth), and grabbed some cashews and a cup of decaf hazelnut coffee.

I think back to all those sugar temptations and if I wasn’t doing this Whole30 challenge, I realized I probably would have easily consumed somewhere around 1,000-ish additional calories. That’s a ton of sugar- fat- zero-nutritional-benefits calories. Sugar is such a slippery slope for me, where one little cookie turns into 3 cookies and a cupcake, so knowing that it’s all off limits somehow makes it easier.

Here are my other thoughts/discoveries from this past week:

  • Definitely feeling like I have more sustained energy throughout my day. No peaks and valleys, because I’m not experiencing over-carbsumption or sugar related highs and crashes.
  • I skipped morning coffee three days in a row and MUCH to my surprise I had no caffeine withdrawal headaches. Amazing.
  • Eating Kale makes me feel like Popeye. Why did it take me 28 years to discover Kale?
  • I made some awesome blackberry glazed pork chops on Monday, and some bangin’ homemade thai coconut chicken soup on Tuesday. I have more culinary superpowers than I knew I had. (PS: I need to do a post with recipes, but my way of cooking is usually 1/3-recipe + 2/3 improvising, so it might take a little time to put that together)
  • My go-to breakfast has been a sunny side up egg (two egg whites, one egg yolk) over a bed of arugula. Yum.
  • Raw cashews are AH.MAZE.ING.

15 days down, 15 days to go. Thanks for coming along for the ride even if you’re all calling me a hippie soul cleanser behind my back 😉 Yeah, you know who you are!

Death By Chocolate

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Dear leftover peppermint hershey kisses from Christmas, I’m pretty sure you will be the death of me. Sincerely, Diana’s ass.

And on a totally related note, it’s time to get back to spin class. Wedding planning and the holidays definitely derailed any fitness routine that was already hanging on by a thread as it was. But excuses are easy, right? Action is a little harder, but I’m listening to my favorite new song (see previous post) for the 987076590 time and feeling like I can do anything! That gym thing, totally setting it on fire! Figuratively of course.

Shape Up, or Ship Out

When it comes to working out, it is soooooo easy to make excuses. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s also soooooo easy to make time each day for a workout. Whether it’s lifting some weights while you’re watching TV or lacing up your sneakers for the gym, you know you have time to fit it in somewhere, but it’s easier to act like you don’t.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve become the excuse queen lately. I haven’t been taking the dogs for as long of walks as I should be (it’s tooo hotttt) or getting to spin class as religiously as I once was (I’m toooo tireddddd). Well, nothing motivates like the idea of having to be in a bikini for 5 days in front of lots of people you know, or will be getting to know. We leave for Alex’s Dominican Republic wedding in about 3 weeks, which means the excuses STOP TODAY.

At 6:45p I’ll be spinning my butt off (literally), and using our upcoming DR trip as the catalyst for a renewed commitment to regular workouts and eating better. It’s time to shape up before we ship out!

Finding the Fresh

As typical in Maryland, we were graced with a few beautiful spring days and have now jumped, head first, into summer heat and humidity. The sun has been out in full force lately and I’ve found it makes it very difficult to motivate myself to get into the gym. So I’m working to find the magical balance between targeted work outs and outdoor activities that are like work outs in disguise — like the mom who bakes broccoli into brownies.

I like tennis, I love swimming and yesterday Joey and I added something new to our repertoire.

Kayaking! What can I say, it pays to have friends in high places a Mom who lives on the Bay.

Joey and I went kayaking once before. It was a double kayak, we were in Mexico, and lets just say team work is not our strong suit 😉 We were like a so-bad-it’s-good comedy skit, spinning our kayak in circles and arguing over who was paddling wrong.

Needless to say, the one-man kayak was a good look on us.

(This is one of those photos where J will say, ‘You always post pictures where I look stupid and you look good.’ To which I would say that this is the only photo we took of the two of us, and nobody made him make that stupid face ;))

We paddled around for about an hour, stopped briefly on a little beach and then made our way back to dry land.

I will totally admit that I’m sore as all hell today! Seriously, every time I get up after sitting down for awhile my legs burn and my back is stiff. There’s something to be said about finding the fresh, mixing up a routine, trying something new. It’s definitely a hurts-so-good type of feeling.

And while I’d like to blame it all on the kayaking, after looking through my pictures, I realized that my soreness could also be partially due to this…

Sick of the jumping yet?

Me neither.

Tonight We Lift

Tonight is gym night with Joey, which means he’s going to make me lift weights. Which means I’ll start off all awesome and gung-ho, but after 30-40 minutes I’ll revert to a whiny 4-year-old and be all, “Are we done yeeetttt???” (insert slumped shoulders and pouty face here)

But Joey’s awesome and he pushes me, and makes me do abs even when I don’t want to, and for that I love him.

I also love the funny faces he makes when he lifts weights. And although this picture isn’t him, he totally makes that face. And that face makes me laugh. That face has inner badass written all over it.

PS: For a laugh, find that picture and more crazy weightlifting faces here.

Funny People Make Me Laugh

Lets rewind to Monday night. I’m in spin class when about 15 minutes into it a group of three guys walk in and take the last three remaining bikes – one being right to me. All of the guys just hopped on the bikes and started  peddling,  no adjusting their seats or handlebars, so it was clear that they A) Didn’t really know what they were doing and B) Didn’t care.  I automatically wanted to crack up laughing because they looked like clowns on little bikes – with their knees bent all funny and their arms way lower than they should be (see above photo).

The urge to laugh passes and I’m totally focused on our ‘climb’ — it was killer. When the song ends the clown guy next to me lets out this crazy sound of relief that was a cross between a dying animal and Celine Dion hitting a high note. I look at him wide-eyed, making a mental note that I should really learn CPR, and he looks back at me and says, “Daaamn, this instructor is CRAZY.” I nodded in agreement and before I could say anything back he yells out, “Lets go bikers, lets GOOOOO!!!”

Laughing when you’re out of breath isn’t easy.

Lets just say the rest of the class with the guy continued in the same fashion – strange noises,  Jane Fonda-esqe motivational “Woo, lets do this” type comments. And while I’d punch this man if I was ever seated next to him in a movie theater, his humor and unabashed personality made spin that much more enjoyable. Not to mention that laughing while exercising must like triple the amount of endorphins your body is creating!

The D-Spot PSA here is that we shouldn’t take things too seriously, we could all afford to laugh more each day and people who could care less about what other people think can sometimes be kind of awesome.

 

 

The Inner Badass

One of my favorite blogs, Enjoying the Small Things , posted a great entry about the “inner badass” and I’ve been trying to conjure mine up all day. She sounds a little bit like this:

“I don’t care if the dog was sick at 2:30 a.m. and you couldn’t fall back to sleep until 4. You’re dragging your butt to spin tonight to get your fitness on and there are two things you can do about it – nothing, or like it.”

She’s fierce that inner badass of mine. And you know what, I AM going to spin tonight. And when I look up at the clock and realize I still have a full 30 minutes left before the instructor says those magical words, “Last working song before cool down,” my inner badass is going to tell me to push harder, and make those minutes count. She’ll tell me that just when I think I can’t do anymore, I’ll get my second wind and feel so good that when it’s time to cool down I’ll feel like I’m just getting started.

We all have an inner badass. It’s the voice inside that drags you out of bed on a Saturday morning for hot yoga, or wills you to freshen up your makeup on a Friday night and go out with the girls. The voice that says, “Man up! Don’t you KNOW how capable you are?!” And the truth of the matter is that when we listen to our inner badass, good things happen. So when’s the last time you listened to yours?

Off the Wagon, err… Bike

I feel like I need to come clean. This marks week 2 of not getting my butt into spin class. And the week before that I only went twice (thanks to being motivated by Kacie aka October Bridey).  Meanwhile, I’m drinking 6lb milkshakes and dreaming of peanut-butter hot-fudge sundaes.

I could come up with a laundry list of excuses, but instead I’m going to vow to end this cycle (no pun intended) right here, right now. I was on a roll for awhile, and I know the longer this goes on, the harder it will be to get back into the groove.

Some things that should motivate me:

  • Weddings, weddings, weddings. Enough said.
  • It will be time for the beach before I know it.
  • I sleep better when I’m exercising regularly.
  • I have more energy when I’m exercising regularly.
  • Did I mention the 6lb milkshake?

On a brighter note, I’ve been doing well trying to cut back on my coffee intake. A benefit of that has been that I’m drinking more water! At least my body can love me for something.

Dear Pretzel M&M’s, I Love You

First off, I think the M&M commercials are always very clever, but that’s not why I love the new Pretzel M&M’s. Here it is in a nutshell (or chocolate coated shell, whichever you prefer): I was craving something sweet after lunch today, but I’m trying to be good and fight the urge. But then I gave in. I said to myself, “Myself, lets just go grab a bag of Raisinetsdark chocolate & raisins, that means antioxidants and kinda-fruit so it’s not a total waste of calories.” I stroll over to the gift-shop (I work in a hospital, the gift-shop is where it’s at people) and I check out the Raisinets – 190 calories in the bag. Not too bad. I’ll burn that off in spin class. But then the Pretzel M&M’s bag catches my eye – and guess what – ONLY 150 CALORIES in the bag. Salty, sweet AND 40 less calories than my original choice. BINGO. We had a winner. Best part is that they were delicious, totally hit the spot, at I didn’t feel guilty because I’ll burn it off 5 times over in spin tonight!

They should hire me as a spokesperson.