Bubbly or Bust

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I just looked at the calendar to see when my Whole45 is finished and I have exactly 2 more weeks to go! I have been a little distracted with the past week and a half’s events to really notice how many days are left (I wouldn’t recommend people getting in car crashes and breaking their elbows just to help pass the days along in their Whole30). The Whole30 has certainly contributed to my easygoing attitude and peace of mind throughout all of the insurance company phone calls, bank visits, car down payments, medical specialist co-pays, etc, etc, etc. I haven’t really been paying too much attention to my elbow. I sometimes forget that it is still healing…that is until I extend it too far or too quickly. My body promptly lets me know that I’ve overdone it. I am able to use it more and more each day. Today I could rotate my arm further than I could before. I can also extend my arm a little bit more….although it still won’t unbend and straighten all the way. I’m making progress though! My next appointment is on the 30th; so I have plenty of time to unbend my elbow by then 🙂

I’ve also been able to get a fair amount of exercise in. If I’m not able to do an actual workout, I am making sure I am at least walking a few miles at lunchtime. I was able to modify the T25 workouts this past week and it felt so good to sweat! I wasn’t able to attend a spin class this morning at the gym because I had to work today. I am going to try and attempt a run outside tomorrow. The running will require my arms to move around a lot, so I will just have to make sure I ice it afterwards. I’ve been icing it about once a day or so and it has really helped with the swelling and the soreness, especially after a workout.

On my way home from work, I was really craving a Kombucha. I didn’t have anymore at the house and did not want to drive to the grocery store and shell out 4 bucks for one. The sunny spring day just had me itching for something bubbly to quench my thirst. After walking Lady and eating dinner, I was still unsettled. For a second, I instinctively thought about grabbing the nut butter and bananas when I realized what I really wanted was something bubbly to soothe my hankering. I then remembered I had a leftover can of La Croix from a case I bought months and months ago. It was in the deepest corner in the back of the fridge.

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In spite of the many months it has rested in my fridge, It totally hit the spot! I am noticing that my need for bubbles has been frequent with the warmer sunnier weather. Looks like I need to stock up soon since we are nearing the end of April. I bet it would be delicious mixed with Kombucha. That reminds me! I have a co-worker who makes her own Kombucha, and she is going to help me make my own. I am super excited to grow my collection of do-it-yourself experiments.

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Strawberry Spinach Salad

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Today was an awesome care-free day; waking up knowing I had crossed off a huge “to do” task of purchasing a car this weekend…and I still had an entire Sunday to enjoy until Monday morning came!

I have been trying to stay as active as I can while my left elbow heals. I have had to skip lunchtime sweat sessions at work, but I have substituted them with 2 mile walks outside which has been so enjoyable thanks to the nice weather lately. This morning I decided to go to the gym. I walked on the treadmill for 35 minutes and did the stationary bike for 25 minutes. I brought some reading material with me which made the time fly. I have still not experienced any pain in my arm. Sometimes, I will forget it is in a splint and I will instinctively do something (like clasp something with my hand too tightly or quickly) and then I will get a sharp twinge in it to remind me that I am getting too cocky. But that is it. The pain doesn’t subside and it goes away as quickly as it came. The band that goes around my neck that connects to the splint is starting to give me a bit of a chafe on the back of my neck. I wore a tank top yesterday and we were in the warm sun while car shopping, so I was probably sweating which caused the chafing to start. Today the weather cooled off and I’m making sure to wear material between the sling band and my neck. I also rubbed some Vitamin E on it this morning which felt incredible.

In North Carolina, this seasonal warm weather brings strawberry season along with it! I made a trip to the grocery store today and they had local NC strawberries on sale to highlight their debut.. They looked so plump and red and juicy! I also snagged two bags of baby spinach for a buck each along with a few radishes that were at the quick sale produce stand. Spinach Strawberry Salad instantly landed on the dinner menu for tonight.

The great thing about baby spinach is that I could just empty it all into a bowl without chopping or shredding the produce. The less I have to chop or slice, the better for my one-armed kitchen challenges. I sliced most of the strawberries (but saved a few for the dressing), the radishes and celery. I added some cooked chicken to it and topped it with sesame seeds, salt, and a handful of pistachios. To my personal salad bowl I also added some avocado (my husband doesn’t like it–more for me!).

For the dressing I blended a few strawberries, olive oil, lemon, a teensy weensy drop of apple cider vinegar, rosemary and black pepper.

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I blended my strawberry dressing in a magic blender. The flavor was delicious, but the consistency didn’t taste like a salad vinaigrette. It felt very “whipped”, which I actually kind of liked but had to get used to.

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And the best party is that there’s more to last for tomorrow’s lunch! So berry good. (I’m not deleting it)

Fat!

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So, I have been nut-free for almost 48 hours and all I have been craving is fat! I want avocados in all my meals and I can’t stop thinking about a thick juicy steak with bacon and avocado slathered onto it. I should do something about this! Last night I finished my jar of coconut butter. It was fattily decadent and perfectly did the trick. I wonder if it it’s my body’s strategy to bounce back from my nutastrophe. Anyway, it is good to know there are other ways that my cravings approve of to get my fat into my meals.

Aside from the intense cravings there has been a complete lack of energy I’ve had all week. It’s kind of like a paleofied version of the carb flu one gets when first starting Whole30. Except mine is a nut flu. I inhaled a lot of cashews, pistachios, pecans, and almonds….so it would be no surprise to me if my body was having to take its sweet time figuring out what the hell to do with all of the nuts I consumed. Anyway, today was a bit better with the energy stores. I was able to get a nice 25 minute full body workout in (thanks Shaun T) and do some very light yoga stretching for an hour. After dinner tonight I also chopped up some of our old couch in the backyard….for real.

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It was my husband’s bright idea to keep our old couch in the backyard once we bought our new couch. It was broken, so we couldn’t sell it and we didn’t want to dump it or pay to have the landfill take it….so, after a few months of it being back there I kind of forgot about it…..until I remembered. I asked my mom and dad to borrow their ax before the film crew of Hoarders came knocking on my door. Surprisingly though, I have really enjoyed swinging an ax! I kind of feel like I am getting a free Cross Fit workout in. Plus, it is so fun and kind of addicting….now I need to watch Lifetime’s Lizzie Borden Took an Ax.

Hopefully the couch will be gone in a week or so and my nut flu symptoms with it! I will happily keep my steak with a side of avocado and bacon though.

12.5 Miles

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I just took a 6 hour nap and it isn’t even tomorrow yet! I just meant to take a catch a few Zzz’s before eating dinner…Woops! Hubs woke me up when he got into bed and turned on his lamp to read and he smelled like hot dogs. At first I thought it was sausage, but then my brain realized he isn’t that fancy in the kitchen to cook himself sausage at night. I realized how thirsty I was and couldn’t believe the time. I am glad to be squeezing in this blog post before the day is over. I’ve always hated sleeping through the evening when only expecting to nap for a bit but then waking up the next day. It makes me feel like I’ve missed out on precious time. But then again, I’ve also come to realize how important sleeping is–and I obviously needed it.

My plan for this morning was to wake up around 5:30 and be on the island by 6:45 for the Lo Tide Run. I was volunteering time by help setting up a booth as well as a sponsored water station for our work–as well as getting a team together to run the race! I must have been excited because I woke up at 4 and couldn’t go back to sleep. I made a huge breakfast: bacon, turkey, some leftover green bean with sweet potato, eggs and pistachios to top it off. The pistachios gave me some green St. Patty’s mojo for the race.

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I packed some leftover chicken to eat after the race as well so I wouldn’t be tempted by the sugar-filled muffins that volunteers would be handing out. It was still dark when I arrived. The beach was windy, but I knew it was going to be absolutely beautiful once the sun came out.

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After running around for about an hour making sure everything was good to go, I met back up with our team and we walked over to the starting line. I must have been too busy before, but there were now so many people out that I hadn’t noticed earlier. There was green everywhere, kilts, dogs, babies in strollers, and even bagpipes! If I’d only seen a leprechaun it would have been perfect.

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3.1 miles later, we finished by trekking the last bit of the course on sand. A perfect way to end! It was gorgeous weather, good times, and there were even dolphins to greet us at the finish line. I even got a surprise good luck “dropping”.

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Thank goodness I didn’t lean to my right in the same instance the seagull decided to grant its luck onto my shoulder. It was a perfect day for a 5K–and apparently also for an excursion to bike myself home from the south end of the island. I put my bike in the back of the car because I thought it would be cool to try and bike home from work since I had to drop everything off after the race and I didn’t want to have Hubs take me home. Once the 5K was finished I tried talking myself out of it! I knew I wanted to at least try it out though because I’ve wanted the opportunity to try and ride my bike more, especially on the island. This was it! Plus, the weather was perfect. I grabbed a banana from one of the food tents just in case I’d need it. I dropped off everything back at work and hopped on my bike without thinking too much about it. About 5 miles later I found Hubs at one of the local bars where the after party was at. I stayed for a bit and then pushed through. I had to go over the bridge, which really sucked because they are down to one-lane traffic due to construction. After I crossed the bridge, the terrain was a lot worse. No pavement, all dirt and sand. I finally made it back home: 9.4 miles in a little over an hour. Not bad for a beach cruiser! No wonder I was exhausted at 4pm. We tried watching “Waking Ned Divine” on Netflix, but I crashed somewhere in the early middle of it on the couch. Lady started barking at a car which helped my decision to move to the bedroom. I was done for!

It has been a long time since I have ran a 5K. With that said, I didn’t do as well as I’d hope. I started off doing really well and was able to keep a consistent fast pace for a while. Then about halfway, I started feeling lightheaded and hit a wall. I’m going to have to work on that! Especially since Hubs came out of nowhere in the last mile and passed me. I will just blame it on last week’s strep throat ;).

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! 🙂

Happy Friday

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Happy Friday, indeed! This has been one crazy week. I am glad it is over but I am also glad everything happened in it the way it did. I only worked a 4 hour day today but today still felt like a full day for some reason. I slept so good throughout the night last night but definitely could have slept in some more this morning. Right when I came home I vegged out on the couch for a few minutes and caught up with my Hubs. I feel like we hadn’t really touched base with one another all week because it was so busy. We had family time on the couch with our Lady for a good 20 minutes before I drove to the gym to do a very low intense workout (I just wanted to make sure I got some movement in for today, nothing crazy) and then drove to the grocery store to pick up a few things before officially retiring for the day at home.

In spite of the craziness this week, the food has been amazing and Whole30 has kept rolling on by. This week I’ve also started taking my breakfast to go to work with me in the morning which I have never ever done before. I always make my lunch the night before and wake up to make my breakfast but oftentimes find that I’m not quite hungry yet. Whole30 suggests that you eat right when you wake up, but I actually enjoy eating a little bit later when I start to feel hungry. Plus it fits in nicely to my daily work schedule. There is a little group of us at work that do workout DVDs (currently the T25 workouts) at lunchtime. Usually I am starving before noon and have to try and keep myself not from eating too much before a workout. It’s either that or I end up eating my lunch which leaves me with nothing to eat after the workout! By eating my breakfast a little bit later I am completely content right up until the workout.

Anyway, I am looking forward to crossing the halfway mark on Sunday and diving straight into the third week. I’ve got a lot of fun recipes I am excited to try out. Hopefully next week won’t be so chaotic and I can spend a bit more time in the kitchen cooking dinner instead of just throwing whatever veggie, protein, and fat I can find into the iron skillet. Not that I have not been pleasantly surprised with the taste of my meals this past week–but I would like to spend more time enjoying the process instead of running around like a chicken without its head :). Speaking of meals, here are some of my favorite meals from this past week. I warned you in yesterday’s post to get ready for some close up foodies!

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Southwestern Beef Scramble

I apologize for the not capturing the guacamole’s “good” side in this close up. It tasted way better than it looks. I used leftover ground beef, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and seasoned it with Whole30 taco seasoning, scrambled up some eggs, and dolloped a yummy glob of guacamole on it (as you can see).

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Chicken-Grapefruit-Cilantro-Avocado Salad

I used Tessemae’s Lemonette salad dressing and it was the perfect touch to the salad’s combining flavors. I also made this same recipe for lunch the next day with tuna instead of chicken. Just as good!

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“Snack-Dinner”

This really isn’t all that pretty, but it sufficed for Tuesday’s hectic schedule. I ate it on the ferry ride over to my first band rehearsal and it lasted me until 10 PM when I was home and able to eat some leftover wild wings and some almond butter with carrots.

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Shredded Carrots and Almond Butter

Not baby carrots though! No, I ate all of those earlier in the week and Hubs hadn’t restocked them yet. Damnit! I love baby carrots, they are the perfect size and shape for dipping into almond butter. I buy shredded carrots to put in my salads but this time I dumped the rest of my bag into the bowl with the nut butter and ate it with a spork.

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Mahi-mahi, roasted asparagus with olive oil and crushed pecans.

This was one of my favorites this week. I’ve never bought mahi-mahi before. I’ve had it in restaurants, but when I was at the store I thought it would be fun to try something different. I usually always buy salmon or shredded tuna and that is really it for seafood. I also had to use some asparagus I bought a while ago. The best part of this meal was the crushed pecans I put on top of it. It gave it so much flavor and texture!

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Not a meal, but very pretty.

This was not a meal. But it was a part of my week that made me smile and be grateful.

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Grass-fed burger, mushrooms sauteed in ghee and 2 fried eggs on a bed of spinach.

This was today’s breakfast. So good-looking, even in Tupperware! I also added a few cherry tomatoes in there too.

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Post-Workout Meal

This one is pretty self-explanatory; cauliflower, sliced cucumber, and diced turkey. I went to Whole Foods right after the gym to get a few things real quick before going back home. I didn’t think I’d work up an appetite because I just did some slow-paced cardio (the stationary bike and walking on the treadmill) but I got pretty hungry pretty fast while shopping. This tided me over until this evening’s dinner.

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Sauteed kale, chicken, and paleo bacon.

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Cajun Sweet Potato Wedges (WHAT?!?)

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Cajun Sweet Potato Wedges on a bed of sauteed kale, chicken, and bacon. 

Oh sheet…this was one of the best dins yet! I didn’t really want to cook dinner tonight and went to Whole Foods to grab one of their rotisserie chickens. They didn’t have any without added sugar though. They usually always have a “naked” one or a “salt and pepper” one. I was bummed so I went to look over at their already made fresh foods and found the sweet potato wedges. I was instantly in. I bought a pound and ate half tonight and saved half for tomorrow. I know that Whole Foods has a certain reputation, and I can’t help but laugh at the “Surviving Whole Foods” post that went viral last year-but it has really made finding compliant foods so much easier while doing the Whole30. Whole Foods just recently opened up in our location two summers ago and I’m really glad it did. Plus, I feel like I have acquired a niche for finding savings there. More posts to come on that later. I feel like I could right my own chapter on “Whole30 on a Budget” and “Whole Foods: Friend or Foe?” Wow, I like that. Maybe I will save those for later….Anyway, I am super excited to do my second week recap on Sunday. I have experienced some more changes this week, bad and good!