Curve Ball

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Well my week sure did get a huge curve ball thrown at it (you can thank my Red Sox-loving-husband for the baseball analogy)….maybe more actually like my whole entire month of April. I was unfortunately rear ended on Tuesday night coming home from band rehearsal. I am not going to get too much into the details because #1) I am kind of sick of talking about it and #2) it is difficult to type for me due to my fractured elbow. I will just say that while it was a pretty traumatic episode; it could have been very much worse and I am lucky to be at home typing this awkwardly with the right side of the laptop propped on a pillow and my left arm in a splint. I was given good news at the orthopedic specialist that my fracture should heal quickly in a couple of weeks and I won’t need a cast (Hallelujah!).

It is so crazy because right after my collision I didn’t think I needed to get checked out at the hospital. My left elbow bruised instantly and started swelling but my adrenaline was taking over. I then felt a bump on my forehead and started limping on my right leg and realized we better go to the ER just in case. Luckily we did because a few X-rays later showed a fractured elbow. I instantly thought of how lucky I was to be on this Whole30 program. Yes, finding out I had a broken bone sucked, but I took comfort in the fact that I was giving my body the best nutrients I could to help it work its magic! I also didn’t freak out like I thought I would about not being able to go to the gym to take high impact cardio and strength training classes during my body’s time of healing. My only plan is to give my body what it needs now: recovery through rest and nutrients. I can also thank the Whole30 for my peaceful mindset through this very stressful time.

So, what’s my plan? To keep on! I got up extra early this morning to give myself enough time to make my lunch and breakfast. I wasn’t sure how difficult it would be with one arm (more like one and a half since I can use my left hand). Chopping red leaf lettuce is difficult…or really any kind of produce. But the softer it is, the harder! Dicing the cucumbers for my salad was a bit easier since they are sturdier on the cutting board. I am learning to use my mouth as a second (third?) hand which works out quite nicely. I have always wanted to make homemade bone broth and now seems like the perfect time. I could definitely use the extra nourishment that the bone broth will have to offer. This is going to be my next “to do” task aside from all the insurance claims, doctor appointments, car shopping, etc. I made my husband take me to Whole Foods to pick up some beef bones while we ran errands yesterday. Now all I need to do is teach him how to put my hair into a decent looking pony tail….

Whole30 Results!

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I feel like I say this every damn time I start a blog post, but man it has been a crazy week….and it’s only Wednesday! Good thing I’ve got tons of stored energy to get me through this week (and next…because I’m already managing my time for when it arrives)! I’m happy to be writing right now. It has become such a huge stress reliever for all the built up craziness that ensues throughout my day. Well, lets jump right in, shall we? Mama’s got a hot date night downtown with her Valentine from two weeks ago. I am curling the hair and putting the lipstick on and going all out since our date nights for the past 30 days have consisted of me cooking us dinner in leggings and t-shirts.

I don’t even know where to begin. If you’ve been following along with me, then you know that the most important change that has occurred has been my psychological relationship with food. I feel like I’ve taken back the reigns of my life in some sort of way. I don’t feel powerless and afraid anymore. I feel like I’ve come back to myself. I’m more me; the best of me if there is such a thing. After having such an emotional roller coaster of a year, feeling this way means so much to me.

With that said, I also reaped some other pretty awesome benefits like:

  • Hair: My hair is shiny and healthy! I’ve had 3 different people in the last week positively comment on my hair-blog post coming in the near future on this!
  • Nails: My nails are hard and thick now! And I am a biter! But, I was always led to bite my nails usually because they always chipped and cracked. My nails are strong! I even scratched my inner thigh in the shower when I was using my hand to scrub with a loofah. I am not used to such sharp talons!
  • Definition: Now that all of the initial bloat and inflammation is out of the way, I’ve got my abs resurfacing, my quads shaping, and my arms toning!
  • Inflammation: Gone! My ankle’s swelling and throbbing went away right in the first week and has held up since, even with all of the high impact workouts and running. I haven’t even used my ankle brace! I would also always get back pain as well after running or doing a lot of jumping. I had to spend a lot of time stretching before and after workouts…and I have not had any at all. It is pretty awesome to not feel like your an old and decrepit  woman when you’re still in your 20’s….Plus, my engagement ring and wedding band have been much looser since. I love this feeling, because it was really starting to tighten up toward the end of last year.
  • Sleep: I’ve recapped on sleep pretty often. It’s great! An interesting side note though-this past Monday and Tuesday night I have not been able to sleep in due to my hectic schedule and I can definitely tell when I’m not getting enough sleep now throughout the day. Will fix this immediately!
  • Attitude: Happy! I’ve got a pep in my step. I’m extra friendly and bubbly. Like I said, I feel like myself and this is worth everything!
  • Energy: No more ups and downs throughout the day. My husband said to me the other day “slow down and pretend like you wanna be by me.” I felt so bad! I was just walking so much faster than I usually do. It feels like I have all these stores of energy that I can tap into whenever I want.
  • Fitness: Not only do I feel like I am able to push myself more with workouts, but I also feel much more in tune with my body. I am learning how to let myself rest and recover when my body needs it. I can definitely tell an improvement in my fitness because I recover much faster from workouts without the pain of soreness bothering me all day. I also ran every Sunday during my 30 days and my runs improved with longer mileage and faster pace each time. My first Sunday run was 2.57 miles at a 12:05 min/mile pace and this past Sunday was a 3.91 mile run at a 10:35 min/mile pace. Now, I gotta get a sub 10 pace and I’ll be good for the 5K I’m scheduled to run in March!
  • Cravings: Gone, nada, zilch! I am still not going to test out any unleashing of a sugar dragon. I have a pretty nasty addiction with the stuff so even though I am happy to report I don’t crave any sugar, I am not going to risk it for a while.
  • Skin: I’ve luckily always had pretty clear skin. I had a few blemishes throughout the second week and afterwards my skin looked better than ever. Today in the mirror while washing my hands I couldn’t believe how clear and healthy my face looked. It looks “fresher” if that makes any sense.
  • Libido: This is pretty self-explanatory. It was an unexpected but welcomed side affect.
  • Relationships: Not only has my relationship with food changed, but also with my husband. I eat to eat now. This past weekend I forgot to eat lunch! I quickly scarfed something down when I realized I went on a run and had been doing yard work for an hour on Sunday–not because I was hungry but because I knew that I needed to give my body nutrients and energy quickly since I missed out on lunch AND a post-workout meal (woops!). I enjoy cooking meals for Hubs and I. We get to spend that time at home and eat dinner together which was something we never really did. I’m a happier person and now I get to share myself more with my husband because I am present!
  • Weight: Unfortunately, I did not take any before measurements. I wish I did, but it was something I just simply forgot to do. I did take measurements on my 30th day so that I can now keep track from here on out. However, I did lose 16.4 lbs! I’m pretty psyched about this. It is a great start.

So, what now? Now, I plan to follow a Whole9 lifestyle. My 30th day was Monday and I have stayed compliant. I plan to take it day by day and stay on course as close as I possibly can and only straying when it is absolutely worth it, and only absolutely worth it!  I’m sure I won’t be perfect at this right away, but I hope to get better and better at it with time as I not only build my confidence up but the trust I have with myself. I am definitely a work in progress. The Whole30 has already given me an amazing head start on my whole-kind-of-life plan. I will elaborate more on some personal goals I have for the Whole 9 Factors. Now, I must go get ready for our date! And, just for the record, I am sampling a beer tonight. And I do think this one is absolutely worth it.

Day 30!

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I can’t believe today is Day 30! I seriously feel like I’m just beginning; yet I also kind of feel like a bad ass pro at the same time. I woke up super excited that today was my 30th day. Maybe even a bit too excited?

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I especially feel like a bad ass pro after the surprisingly challenging day I had….Ironically enough, my last day of the Whole30 started off its morning with a staff retreat to a cooking class! We knew we were going somewhere, but no one had any idea what we were doing until we pulled up to the location. Ha! The menu items were a crusted quiche, cornmeal fritters with bacon and corn, followed by the ooziest-gooiest cinnamon rolls. Half the time was spent cooking and the other half of the morning was eating at a family style table. Ha! I couldn’t believe the irony. I got my hands dirty and helped roll and slice the cinnamon rolls. After all, I am still a kitchen queen and I do not diet discriminate.

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The other half was a little uncomfortable. I waited for everyone to ask why I wasn’t partaking in the fruits of our labor. It was awkward being the only one not eating but it wasn’t hard at all. In fact, I didn’t once give into thinking of off-roading. I could have easily talked myself into eating with everyone else by ending my Whole30 a few measly hours early, but the thought of how I would feel afterwards trumped any mouth-watering that my have occurred. I knew how sluggish and gross I would feel afterwards. I wouldn’t want to be productive once we returned to work. I wouldn’t have any motivation to exercise because I would be too full. I was having none of that! So, it really wasn’t hard. The experience actually has given me a lot more confidence in officially finishing my 30 days and starting to transition into a more balanced day-to-day life. Perhaps, there will be a moment that arises and it will most definitely be worth it to off-road. But today was not that day. And tomorrow doesn’t have any prospects of looking that way either (unless there may be another work surprise I don’t know about).

I couldn’t even eat their fruit salad because it was glazed with honey! There were a few grapefruit and orange wedges I was able to at least nibble on. I honestly wasn’t even hungry, but I felt like I should be chewing on something along with everyone else.

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So, after I dodged my Day 30 Bomb, the rest of the day fell right into place. Once we returned to work, my co-worker and I worked out right away before I locked myself into to my office to play catch up for the rest of the day. I made a delicious salad for lunch with my own dressing.

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I took the leftover Chile and Lime Chicken I grilled the other night and sliced it with some Bibb lettuce and cherry tomatoes. I used a magic bullet to make the dressing: cilantro, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a dash of jalapeno pepper, garlic clove, lemon juice, and avocado. It was super easy! While eating my lunch, I was so grateful I pushed throughout the morning. I enjoy the food I eat now so much and am so happy I didn’t settle for the lack of quality in nutrients I put into my body. By the way, how pretty is Bibb lettuce?! It’s so wavy!

The rest of the day flew by while playing catch up. I made myself eat a serving of mixed nuts before I left work to go to my 5:30 gym class. I blew off some steam and lifted some weights and then finally came home. I didn’t feel as good as I thought I would coming home though. I feel a little bit anxious and sad. I have no idea why. Because my Whole30 is over? Because I am scared about what will happen next? Because I felt strong this morning when I thought I wouldn’t? Not to get too deep and philosophical here, but I kind of feel like this morning was a huge stepping stone for me. I have not been able to trust myself in so long. Self-sabotage was weekly, if not daily. Even though today was a success (Hell, these past 30 days were a success),  it has been a long journey to get to where I am now, mentally. I am scared about what will happen next, but today has also made me really realize how strong I am going forward.

Speaking of going forward, I had the best dinner to top off my 30th day. This past weekend I bought some Sunflower Seed Butter on sale at my local coop. I’ve never tried it and have always wanted to. Trader Joe’s sells a product, but it has cane syrup in it. This type just had one ingredient: raw, organic sunflower seeds.

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Hubs put some beef tips in the fridge to defrost this morning. We also had a bag of frozen veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas and water chestnuts. I tossed everything into the cast iron with some diced onion. After my medley cooked a bit, I mixed the sunflower seed butter with coconut aminos, lemon juice, coconut oil, and garlic clove. I dolloped my sunflower sauce on the stir fry and let it all simmer.

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Then I added salt and pepper and topped my bowl with some raw cashews.

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This was probably one of my favorite meals. I am kind of mad it took me so long to make this. Oh, I just remembered that I did just find the sunflower seed butter the other day. Good thing I have a whole jar to keep playing with!

I will post my results sometime this week. Tomorrow is my crazy busy day. Wednesday night is our concert date night. We will also be going out to eat Wednesday night for dinner. I plan on drinking a beer Wednesday night, but that is it. Hopefully I will have successful follow ups to report later this week! Happy Day, Whole30ers.

Spin Sin

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Here I find myself again….blogging while dinner cooks! Today was a great Saturday. Most Saturdays I feel like I am either not resting at all or find myself resting too much; and then I feel lazy and not productive enough (in case you didn’t realize it by now, I have issues with practicing balance). Today was a day that was not too busy and not too lazy…it was just right!

I woke up around 7 AM, which means I got about 9 solid hours of sleep last night. I did wake up once or twice in the middle of the night to empty my bladder, but I didn’t have any trouble falling back to sleep once I hit the pillow. I woke up and brewed my coffee (my favorite part about getting out from bed) and then heated up the last piece from last night’s turkey meatloaf. I fried two eggs and put it on top. My two eggs connected themselves together and made me think of twins for some reason!

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One time, I cracked an egg to fry and out came two yolks from the same shell! That made me think of twins too. Ha! Anyway, this morning’s gym classes were either Spin at 8:30 and/or a Cardio/Weights class at 9:30. I have consistently been attending the cardio and weights class on Saturday mornings, but my body still felt a bit run down when I woke up this morning. I have been thinking a lot more about the Whole9 article on Rest and Recovery I blogged about yesterday evening and I decided to do spin. I still craved a really great workout, but knew that I didn’t want to fatigue my muscles too much. Spin is the perfect workout because I am able to push myself, but at a much lower impact on my joints. I honestly never thought I’d like spin that much, but having a great instructor makes the world of a difference. I don’t know if I could do it more than a couple times a week in fear of getting bored with it. However, I can’t take it Tuesday evenings anymore because of my band rehearsal, so having it on Saturday morning is perfect. I also had to take spin last weekend because my mom was visiting and I couldn’t make it to my 9:30 class and I loved it! My spin instructor said that when you run, your joints are getting an impact of 3 times your weight. That is pretty crazy! I always knew cross training was important, but I am really glad that I am incorporating more lower impact training in my routine to give my body more “active” recovery.

Today’s weather didn’t get into the 70’s, but it was still sunny and beautiful! It probably got up to a high of 64. Hubs and I went on a walk around the neighborhood and then went to the island for the annual Polar Plunge. There were so many people on the beach and at the bars. It makes me so excited for summertime! Afterwards, I ran to Trader Joe’s to grab some meat and veggies. I have slowly been emptying out my freezer and fridge, so I needed to stock up on some things including turkey burgers, bison burgers (I’ve never tried these!), prosciutto, pearl tomatoes, pecans, cashews, sweet potatoes, and avocados. I got my weekend Trader Joe’s trip out of the way so that is one less thing I have to do tomorrow. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the high 60’s, so I will plan on taking my Sunday run around the neighborhood if my legs feel up to it!

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Lady loves the sun too!

Hunger Pains

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This is my fourth Friday on the Whole30. This will be my last weekend officially on it. Monday will be my 30th day. It really has flown by! I feel like I am only just beginning my journey though. Plus, there are still so many fun and adventurous recipes I really want to try out. I plan to keep on chugging along on the Paleo train. But, I’ll cross that bridge on Tuesday morning.

I am still feeling great; however a little more tired and hungry lately. Not sleepy tired. My energy is still stable all day long and I’m not experiencing any ups and downs throughout the day. Just feeling a tad more bit fatigued in my body. I am probably overworking myself in the gym. And my hunger is definitely letting me know! I came across a really interesting Whole9 article about Rest vs Recovery that I found on the Whole30 Forums. It is really freeing to read something about health and fitness that tells you NOT to kill yourself in the gym everyday. I’ve struggled with this in the past and still do. I have been to the gym 3 times a day before. I love working out and enjoy it, but I flirt with a fine line between balance and extreme. I still do two-a-day workouts throughout the week, but I balance them between recovery workouts like yoga and less intense exercises. Plus, our lunchtime workout sessions are only 25 minutes, which is short and sweet.

I’ve been a lot hungrier this week than I have been before, especially first thing in the morning. This is also a good thing, because it means my cortisol and leptin hormones are at good levels and that my metabolism is working way better than it did 4 weeks ago. I just want to make sure I’m getting enough food to fuel my day plus my workouts. A lot of comments on the Troubleshooting section of the Whole30 Forums focus on making sure you are eating enough amounts. So, I’m currently trying to find my sweet spot when it comes to meals. I’ve been eating a bit more fat at dinner time because I usually get a hankering to eat something right before bed. I haven’t tweaked out the right amount yet, but I am hopeful to figure it out. Tonight for dinner I had two servings of turkey meatloaf instead just the one I would usually limit myself to. I feel happily satiated now.

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I made a deconstructed burger for lunch with spinach, cooked kale, cherry tomatoes, fried egg, mushrooms, avocado, a grass-fed burger, and avocado oil and vinegar. The avocado and oil lasted me throughout the rest of the day but by the time I got home after 5 I was gnawing on some celery and mixed nuts to hold me until dinner.

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Tonight’s dinner was turkey meatloaf cooked with ground turkey, onion, butternut squash and a tomato paste topping. I roasted some broccoli with coconut oil and mustard to go with it. It was very filling! I probably need to pay closer attention to my morning meals. I tend to go lightest with the fat in the morning because I don’t spend as much time cooking breakfast before work. I love the weekends because I really get to take my time in the kitchen on my morning meal. I don’t mind if I fall asleep now so that I can wake up to get started! 🙂

Eating Out

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Today marks the end of week 3. I can’t wait to recap on all of the amazing changes that I’ve felt this past week, but I will save that for tomorrow. My mom came down to spend time with me today. We had initially planned to do this 3 weeks ago, but first there was the snow episode (from two weeks ago) and then she had to be out of town last weekend. I am really glad she came down today. I love spending time with her and she is seriously my best friend. She brought me a Valentines Day present which was a bottle of red wine. I love red wine. I will hold onto it until I can have a glass! Luckily my husband is a beer connoisseur instead of a wino.

We made plans for her to get here at 10 AM. That gave me enough time to attend an 8:30 morning spin class, get home, hop in the shower, get dressed, and eat a post workout meal. She got in right when I started eating; I even had time to make the bed once Hubs got up to take Lady on a walk. Back to spin class for a second….I had such an awesome workout! More to comment on that though for tomorrow’s recap post.

We went to several consignment shops. I splurged on two pairs of shoes that were pretty pricey, but they were 60% off! One pair were leather ankle boots, originally 80 bucks. I have been itching to buy myself a pair of ankle boots that I can actually walk in. The heel needs to be thick and short to help support my right ankle. These were perfect! The other pair were some loafers that had a wedge on them and were too comfortable not to walk around in all day. They were originally $70. With the sale, I got both pairs for $64. I cringed when she rung up the price, but then I reminded myself that I hadn’t bought myself shoes in years and that the sneakers I still wear to the gym everyday have holes in them that display the socks on my feet to the world.

After some shopping it was lunch time. I had not done any research beforehand on scoping out the most Paleo-friendly restaurant in town. I just figured that wherever we go would be a challenge and that I’d make it work the best that I could. I honestly figured I’d just be ordering a bare minimum salad with the saddest looking naked chicken breast on it with oil and vinegar on the side. Fortunately though, we ate Thai. Thai! I haven’t had Thai food in so long. I’ve mentioned before that my husband has a very “sensitive” palette. Lets just say he drinks Diet Dr. Pepper, because the regular Dr. Pepper is too spicy. Now, I must give him props because he has really come a long way since I have been cooking. Plus, my family and I love spicy food, so he oftentimes will try new things just from the peer pressure that comes with family meals. However, we never go out to eat for Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, or Mexican. We really hardly ever go out to eat at all unless it is to a brewery.

The restaurant was packed. I forgot that the town has been confined to their houses most of the week without power. My mom and I got seated pretty quickly, but I instantly took the menu and looked it over before we were called. The Panang Curry was instantly calling my name. It had your choice of beef, pork or chicken with green beans, onions, sweet potato and coconut milk. I asked our waiter if the menu item had any added sugars or soy cooked with it and he said that none of the curry menu items did. I felt pretty confident with my lunch choice and with the information he gave me (even though it was barely any). I have also read that Thai food is pretty Paleo-friendly considering that coconut is a staple ingredient. Besides, I was staying very clearly away from any peanuts or rice. I started considering in my head the possibility of added ingredients and preservatives to the coconut milk or the refined cooking oil they may use, but then I told myself that I did the best I could. In the end, I am so glad I let myself enjoy the meal with my mom. It was a perfect girls out lunch. I forgot how much I love Thai food!

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I ordered the pork for my Panang. My mom ordered the Yellow Panang that had beef, avocado, cauliflower, basil, onion and coconut milk. You bet I had some of hers too.

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I took the rice and the fancy mints that came with the receipt home for Hubs. I finished about half of the lunch and am going to finish the rest as soon as I finish this post. I may or may not have kept compliant today, but I know that I tried my best to be. I also think that no matter what, I have been successful with the Whole30 today because I thought about what was in my food and I actively enjoyed my meal (if that makes sense). Before the Whole30, I used to stress over eating out. I would experience awful anxiety about where to go out and what to eat there. I have a history with disordered eating patterns (to say it lightly), specifically with this past year. The added stress of wedding planning had taken a huge toll on me most of last year. So, when I say that I really enjoyed this meal out with my mom….I really did. So, whether I was compliant or not–it doesn’t matter. The Whole30 has given me the experience to enjoy my lunch out today with my mom. And I will enjoy the leftovers for dinner!