My Whole30 Wrap-Up

Yesterday was the last day of my Whole30-it actually felt like it went by really fast! Here are my thoughts and observations after completing the Whole30.

1. I don’t crave or miss sugar (or stevia in my morning coffee). This is huge for me because I ALWAYS crave sugar after a meal. I love sweets. Love, love, love them. And the first couple weeks on the Whole30 were really hard for me. Now that I’m finally not craving sweets I’m not about to re-introduce them on purpose. I know the day will come when I’ll go dietary off-roading but until then I’ll keep drinking my coffee without stevia.

2. I sleep HARD. I was a good sleeper before the Whole30 but I’ve noticed I sleep really soundly now. I don’t wake up in the night and when I wake up I usually feel rested and ready to go. Although now that it’s pitch black until about 7:45am it’s a little harder to haul my body out of bed for a morning run.

3. My skin really cleared up and my hormones seem to be regulating. This is the change I am the most happy about and the main reason I want to continue eating this way. I developed extremely bad acne around the age of 30 and even though it has improved a lot in the last year it’s still plagued me. It’s 100% hormone related so topical medication and even prescription medication haven’t helped. Now my hormones *fingers crossed* seem to be ironing themselves out. Perhaps one day I really will do a post about my acne. I even have a before picture. Doesn’t that sound like FUN?!

4. Whole30 is just a jump start. 30 days really isn’t very long. I know it’s going to take way more than a month of eating like this for my hormones to really stabilize.

5. I believe eating this “Real Food Diet” is the healthiest way of eating. I’ve read so much research in the last 30 days that support this type of eating. I still think of it as being quite plant based because you eat a ton of vegetables. But I like to call it a “Real Food Diet” because that’s what you eat. Real food.

6. Eating fat is still hard. It is still hard for me, mentally, to eat full fat coconut milk, 1/2 an avocado at 1 sitting, ghee, or (I can hardly even bring myself to type this) animal lard. I have to remind myself that eating fat does not make you fat. Vegetable oils are quite damaging as it turns out. I’m still working on this one.

7. My neck and joints feel great. But hey, they always do when I quit eating sugar and flour. This should be all the incentive I need to keep eating this way…

8. My final observation: I don’t want to stop eating this way. I honestly enjoy all the foods I’ve been eating for the past month. I haven’t gotten bored. The food is simple and flavorful and easy to prepare. My body and mind feel great (tiger blood great) and I don’t see any reason to stop! I’m sure at some point something delicious looking will come my way and when that time comes I will be ready to go dietary off-roading. But until that day I am going to continue following the Whole30 guidelines.

So there you go! Obviously I’m a huge fan of the Whole30 now. Another realization I’m having now that I’m at day 31 and no longer “obligated” to eat Whole30 style is that I want to eat this way for me, not because the Whole30 says I have to. And that’s a great feeling.

Ok, now on to more fun things, like Rocco stories!
Last week we took a trip to Jackson, Wyoming. It was my first time to Jackson and it was just a beautiful as everyone says! And since it was the off season we were able to stay at a really nice hotel that we would normally would not stay at.
I had a nasty cold the entire time so we laid really low just strolling around town, relaxing in our hotel room and walking Rocco.
Rocco LOVED the king size bed. He determined that when we are on vacation it’s ok for dogs to play and sleep on the bed. And we agreed 🙂
Here he is sleeping and relaxing on the bed. We did a lot of this!

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Um, in that photo of me with Rocco you can see how clear my skin has gotten!
Now my cold is gone and Rocco and I have been able to run this week. We had a great trail run over the weekend. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! This is the point in the trail when we have to turn around since it’s a watershed and dogs aren’t allowed-hence the no dog sign.

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Here is Rocco after a morning run in a rare moment where he is awake but not moving.

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Oh and here is a picture of Jenny Lake in Teton National Park. It was beautiful!

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That’s all for now, have a great week!
Laura

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What I’ve been eating on the Whole30

I’m on day 19 of the Whole30 already! At this point I feel like I’m running a marathon and I just hit “the wall”. Hitting mile 18 in a Marathon I feel like-Wow, I have gone really far! 18 miles! And I still have 8 more miles to go which is still a really, really long way!
But in all seriousness I am feeling good. My neck which always hurts feels like a perfectly normal, healthy neck. My ankle which also always hurts still hurts a little but feels pretty good for the most part and will now allow me to run 3 miles (woo hoo!).
Unfortunately I’m sick with a cold right now and I’m a big baby when it comes to be being sick. So I wish I could say I have incredible amounts of energy but that’s just not the case. Luckily I have a Rocco to canoodle with.

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Sorry for posting a picture of the inside of my nostril.

Ok let’s get down to business. I have pretty much been eating the same thing for the past 19 days which I know sounds boring but I happen to really be enjoying everything I’m eating and it’s working for me and it’s easy so I haven’t felt like switching it up much.
I eat 3 meals a day and follow the Whole30 meal guidelines in terms of fat, protein and vegetables.

Breakfast, aka brekky
-Coffee with coconut milk (the kind from a can, not the carton)
-2 egg omelette with roasted vegetables or spinach, topped with sun dried tomato pesto.
This meal was the biggest change for me. I’m doing ok just using coconut milk in my coffee and not using any stevia. Honestly, I was just happy coffee is allowed during the Whole30! I’ve given up coffee plenty of times and I don’t like that. Eating eggs for breakfast was a HUGE change for me. I normally would have a protein shake with frozen blueberries. I’ve never been a huge fan of eggs and probably hadn’t eaten eggs in 7-10 years. At first I was just eating them plain which was pretty rough. Then I started adding that pesto and it was a total game changer. Now I wake up hungry and excited to eat breakfast.

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Lunch, aka Meal 2
I’m calling this my “Tiger Blood” salad because I feel amazing after eating this salad and I look forward to it every. single. day. Here’s what I put in it:
-a ton of spinach
-organic chicken breast the size of my palm or maybe a little more (I’ve been cooking my chicken in the slow-cooker which is so easy)
-avocado (they say to use 1/2- 1 whole avocado per meal)
-a piece of fruit (I was using peaches but now pears are in season and I’m loving them!)
-balsamic vinegar, avocado oil, a splash of lemon juice, salt & pepper

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Dinner
Dinner is the only meal I change up from time to time. Last week I really got into eating Mahi Mahi. I consumed more fish last week than in my entire life combined. Unless you count the fish stick phase I went through the summer of 1989 after learning how to use the oven. Anyway, I started coating the fish in almond flour, dipping it in egg and then covering it in unsweetened shredded coconut and grilling it. IT’S AMAZING. It’s like a fish snickerdoodle, ha!

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I’ll eat that over a big spinach salad.
Another way I’ll have the fish is just grilled plain and then topped with pesto and served with roasted vegetables.

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If I’m still hungry after dinner, or if my dinner was really lean I’ll have a spoonful of coconut butter which is really tasty! It was hard for me at first to eat more fat but I quickly learned that if I didn’t eat enough fat I would be starving an hour or two later.

And that’s it! My husband and I still continue to miss wine. Every day I say something like “you know what would go with this fish?” and he says “ugh, I know”. But hey, just 11 more days to go!

It’s cooled off in Salt Lake which means Rocco has been freezing his cute little bum off. He runs around the house like a mad man so the only time I can get a photo of him is when he’s sleeping.

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He loves the heat lamp now. We have to turn it down though because he will stick his nose directly on it!

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He has gotten good at “burrowing” and can wedge himself under blankets, pillows or people.

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He’s such a funny guy!

That’s it for now!
Laura

Grilled Acorn Squash

I’m on day 13 of the Whole30 now and I feel like I have “Tiger Blood” now as they call it. I just feel good. I wake up before my alarm and I feel rested and ready to go. My joints feel great (as they always do when I cut out sugar) and my body feels almost weightless. That’s the Tiger Blood speaking.

This week I went to a work event and turned down chocolate chip cookies, pizza AND cake from Costco (a favorite of mine). It actually wasn’t that hard to turn that stuff down since I now have Tiger Blood and all.

What I really miss the most is WINE! I thought I would miss chocolate or the stevia in my morning coffee or Reeces peanut butter pumpkins (they are in season!), but no. I miss wine. I usually only have a couple glasses of wine on the weekends but I’m realizing that those 2 glasses on Saturday night are really crucial to my spiritual wellness so I’m guessing when my 30 days are up I’ll be celebrating with a glass of vino.

I’m very excited to share this recipe for grilled acorn squash! This was the first time in my life to ever try acorn squash and man have I been missing out! The flavor and texture is almost the same as french fries (or maybe that’s the tiger blood speaking again). For real though it’s really good and I’ve grilled squash every day this week!

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Grilled Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, seeds removed, sliced into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick slices (thinner slices are better)
Salt & pepper to taste
Nutritional yeast
Olive oil

Heat the grill to 400-450 degrees F. Brush both sides of each piece of squash with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill for about 4 minutes on each side or until nice grill marks appear and the squash is tender. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

That’s it! It’s so easy and so so so good!!

Rocco is all recovered from his procedure last week. I don’t think he even knows he had anything done. I don’t even think he knew he had stitches! He never paid any attention to them. I got him a new blanket from Costco called the “sherpa blanket” and he just loves it. My husband and I are actually quite jealous because it’s the softest blanket we’ve ever felt!

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Oh and my awesome hubby got me new cross country skis for my birthday! I think it was a subtle hint that I need to exercise more. Ha! KIDDING! He got them because I emailed him a link to a ski set I wanted noting all my sizes and low and behold he got me just what I wanted! THAT is a good man. Here I am skiing in my living room. What a nerd…

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Have a great weekend!
Laura

Whole 30-Week 1

Ok, it’s confession time…I’ve been eating meat! Oh the shame! I’ll explain.

I read so much about health, fitness and nutrition I don’t even remember how this all came about. But for whatever reason I was reading about the Whole30 (google it) and got so intrigued I purchased the book and read it in about two days. I was so convinced by all their research and testimonials that I decided I just had to try it! I mean seriously, people are saying this cleanse/type of eating cures just about everything, so how could I not try it?! In the book they even say, if you are currently vegan, try this just for 30 days and see how you feel. We all know I like a good challenge. Lucky for me my husband thought it sounded like fun too so he is doing it with me!

What it is: 30 days of eating pure, real food. Each meal (3 meals a day) is centered around eating quality protein from eggs or meat. The rest of the plate is filled with vegetables (hey I like those!) and then topped with a healthy source of fat like olive oil, avocados or coconut.

What you can’t have: sugar (just 1-2 pieces of fruit a day), grains (no rice, oatmeal etc), beans, peanuts, quinoa, tofu/soy, dairy or anything that contains those items. You also aren’t allowed to make “treats” like pancakes out of approved ingredients.

So in short, it’s kind of like a paleo cleanse but with a couple major differences. First, they put a huge emphasis on eating vegetables, not just eating a ton of meat. The protein piece is important but they say to just eat a serving of meat the size of your palm (or 2) so it’s really not huge portions. Second, it doesn’t allow for paleo junk food or baked goods so you aren’t just swapping out a cookie addiction for a paleo cookie addiction. I really like how they back everything up with science. As a scientific-minded person I can’t turn my back on research. What if this is the thing?

First, my husband and I just did it for 7 days and then he had to go out of town so we took a little break since there was no way he could whole30 on his trip. So we did a whole 7. The first 3-4 days it was like having a low-grade hangover. Slight headache, low energy, brain fog. After 4 days I noticed I wasn’t hungry in between meals (usually I’m hungry every 2 hours). My husband noticed his knees felt better. I started waking up before my alarm feeling refreshed. All good things! Then he went on his trip and even though I could have gone back to eating whatever I mostly stayed on track because I felt good!

Now he’s back from his trip and we are officially on day 6 out of 30 and feeling great! I’m actually really enjoying everything I’m eating. I look forward to each meal. I feel satisfied and I’ll be darned but I haven’t been craving chocolate after dinner which normally, let’s be honest, I wolf down my dinner and then go straight to the chocolate.

I’ll do a “what I eat in a day” post soon. The hardest thing for me has been eating more fat! I’m so conditioned to think “fat is bad” since I grew up in the bagel era shunning all fat and just eating carbs. Now of course we know that is not a healthy way to eat! But when I wasn’t eating fat I was just way too hungry. As soon as I started adding more fat into my diet I felt full for much longer. Also, eating this way trains your body to use fat as a fuel source which means your body will become more efficient at using stored fat for energy too!

Ok, Rocco updates. He got neutered this week. I know, poooooooooooor Rocco, how could I?
Well he is doing just fine. They are so slick with these surgeries now a days. We got him home in the evening after his surgery and he was running around and playing like normal. The vet said he could resume normal activity right away! I don’t even think Rocco knows he has stitches because he is just going about his normal business.

It did get cold here in Salt Lake though so he doesn’t ever want to get out of bed. We have to keep him covered!

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I’m still trying to make him understand that his sweatshirt will keep him warm but he still hates it. He also thinks the space heater is most certainly trying to kill him. I can’t wait for the day he realizes, oh hey, that thing is really warm!

Oh and my birthday is Saturday! I’m turning 35. Yay. Oh! And my husband and I are running a 5K trail race on Sunday! It was just about a year ago exactly that I ruptured my posterior tibial tendon and it’s finally healed enough that I should be able to run 3 miles. I’ll have to stop and take 1 walk break because it doesn’t allow me to run that far at once yet but I’m optimistic that someday it will completely be back to normal. Who knows, maybe this whole30 thingy will cure my ankle pain!

Have a great weekend! I’ll be celebrating my birthday without birthday cake OR frosting, waaaaah!!!!