Whole 30 Week 4 and the aftermath

I made it through the last and final week of my Whole 30. Let me tell you, that this was not easy. My boyfriend and I decided to make a last minute move into a new apartment, my work schedule got crazy and I worked from 3 different offices as well as my part time job. I was bouncing around really with no home all week. This meant no time to really cook, pack food etc. so I had to eat out and with such a restrictive diet there’s very limited places that I could actually eat and stay compliant.

What did this mean for me? Well I ate a lot of grilled chicken salads with vinegar and oil. Also, bunless burgers. It wasn’t the most exciting for glamorous week for food.

But now what right?

I just did 30 days of clean eating, no sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains etc. I feel great, my stomach is happier, I’m happier with my appearance and everything seems to be functioning better. I certainly don’t want to go back to the way things were. But it’s also unrealistic to continually eat in such a strict manner in this day and age. I love working out and I need carbs for energy, but there are just so many potatoes I can stomach in one week. So, for the last week after finishing the Whole 30, I am slowly adding things back in. This week I started with dairy, I have a hard time getting in enough protein and I need yogurt in the morning to get a little boost to my intake. I also just love cheese, so dairy was definitely first.

I also added back in brown rice. No pasta and breads for me yet (except for Super Bowl sunday…but my belly regretted that immediately). I think I’m going to stick with this diet for now. There’s enough for variety for me, there’s tons of gluten free options out there and it’s not so restrictive where I can’t eat out with friends!

Are you thinking about doing the Whole 30? Have you already done a Whole 30? Tell me about why or how it went!

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Whole 30 week 3!!

We are grinding down to the end of this and let me tell you, while I don’t miss bread and pasta as much. I do miss rice and other grains. I also miss cheese.

As you know, before I started this journey with the Whole 30, I planned it out. I did my research, I found recipes that were compliant and I made sure that I was never second guessing what I was going to eat. Well, I failed this week. Most of my meals were not pleasing to my palate and I ended up scraping most of it.

Breakfast: Sausage and potato hash
This meal was probably my only success for the week. I did end up adding eggs to it every morning, because while it tasted good, after the first day of eating it, I was still HUNGRY!!!
2 lbs white potatoes, cubed (small!)IMG_4814
1 lb Italian mild sausage (read ingredients to find one without sugar)
1 onion finely diced
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil (or coconut oil), brown sausage and cook through. Remove and place in towel lined bowel. Add potatoes and cook for about 5 min then add onion and saute for about 5 mins then add bell pepper. Stir in cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in sausage. Serve.
Lunch: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken on baked sweet or regular potato.

IMG_23362
This recipe turned out ALRIGHT. I ate it for three days and then got sick of it. I’ve never really had a loaded potato like this before so I wanted to try it out. The sauce just didn’t do it for me and it was definitely better on a regular potato because it made the sweet potato just too sweet.
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
10 pitted-medjool dates
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lemon juiced
1 tbsp coconut amino acids
1 lb boneless chicken thighs.
Basically just throw it all in the crock pot for 8 hours on low. Bake a potato and top it.
Dinner: Butternut squash soup, burger and side salad.

Not going to bother with the butternut squash soup recipe. It was boring bland and I threw most of it out. I had the burger and side salad but ended up just eating another baked potato. I’m kind of sick of potatoes right now.

Well everyone, stay tuned for my last and final week of the Whole 30!!!

Detox your life now!

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First, this post isn’t about detoxing your body, this is about detoxing your life of the negative energy. Have you ever had a relationship with the someone that just drains you? They complain about their problems but don’t do anything to change their situation, they shoot you down at every chance that they get or nothing that comes out of their mouth is positive whether it’s about them, you or someone else. If you answered yes, then you have a toxic person in your life.

I’ve been victim to these relationships myself. In fact, one of the girls that I thought to be one of my best friends in college, was probably one of my most toxic relationships.  We met day one freshman year of college in Bio 150 and were close throughout those four years and afterwards as well. Even when we lived in different states we would talk every day. But every decision I made for myself was wrong because it wasn’t how she was living her life and she constantly was complaining about SOMETHING. Everything was hard and stressful for her, yet she never seemed to do anything to change her job, her living situation or anything. It finally came down to the last straw when she was planning her wedding, I had just start a new job as a personal trainer and wasn’t making enough money to fly out to her wedding, get a hotel room, rent a car and buy a gift. So I decided that I couldn’t attend, it was just not financially responsible for me at the time. Well I heard it. It was her big day and I was being selfish, I had known about it for 6 months so I should have planned better and saved more money. Well, I had, but I decided to make a big leap in my career and take this job so whatever I had saved up I needed to keep in savings so that I could afford to live. But she couldn’t see it that way and told me I would never amount to anything.

That’s when I decided that this relationship was no longer contributing anything positively to my life. So I told her good bye, blocked her number and have not spoken to her again. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do and sometimes I still wonder how she’s doing.

But that’s when I realized I felt like I had a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders.  I was no longer drained from talking to her. I didn’t have our daily conversations that were filled with negative gossip and unwanted advice. But I also learned a lot, like how to identify these toxic people and stop or end the relationship before it goes too far.

That’s Step one: Identify the Toxic People in your life.

-Toxic people make you feel worse than when you started talking to them. They bring your energy level down. They leave you feeling bummed out. Notice how your body feels after talking to them, particularly your chest and stomach which are areas where most of us carry stress and anxiety.
-There is a difference between someone sharing with you their struggles/challenges versus someone who constantly complains
-Toxic people shoot down your ideas. They always question what you’re doing. They may say something like, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t change careers because you have so much job security here. What about your benefits? Or your retirement?” This is pretty common and sometimes subtle and harder to notice. Even though it may sound like they’re giving you advice, in the end they’re just putting more doubts into your head because your actions may bring up their own fears and insecurity.

Step two: Let them go.

-Listen to Nike. Just do it. Use whatever method you see appropriate, you might want to just say good bye and cut it off cold turkey or gracefully bow out of their life slowly, apologize for being distant but you don’t need to defend your actions.
-Avoiding explanations, they may take it personally and probably get defensive but YOU need to be your own best friend and do what’s best for you.

Step three: Don’t feel guilty

-Like I said before, you need to do what’s best for your and if that relationship isn’t doing it anymore then it’s time to move on. That happens, we grow up and we change and sometimes relationships don’t withstand that change.
-You’ve tried your best to keep that relationship going, but at some point we need to realize that unless they’re willing to put in the effort as well, then you should not waste anymore energy.

Step four: Bring on the positivity!!

-Find relationships that are fulfilling and supportive.
-Surround yourself with encouragement and people that inspire you to do big things in your life!

Share with me your experiences with negative relationships and how you’ve detoxed your life or how you need to start!!

The Whole 30

Last year I tried the Isagenix 30 day cleanse and that helped me shed a lot of weight and get me back on track in 2015 when it came to my health and fitness goals. I mananged to lose and keep off 15 pounds, run two 5ks, a 10k, 3 half marathons and 2 sprint distance triathlons. But my body hasn’t completely healed from the hell I put it through when I decided to participate in a bikini competition 3 years ago and fell back down the rabbit hole of eating disorders.

in 2014 I landed in the emergency room with horrible stomach pains and vomiting blood. Turns out at the rip old age of 26 I had a stomach ulcer, which is not unheard of, but not very common apparently for someone my age. My stomach has never been the same. When I eat certain things like the fake sugar alcohols found in a lot of protein bars, or when I get incredibly stressed out I get these horrible, sounds like I’m going to throw up burps.
I knew that I had to do something about this if I really wanted to ever be in my best health. So this year, without having to go through a battery of tests, I decided to cut all the things that might be irritating my stomach. That’s where the Whole 30 comes in.
The Whole 30 isn’t a cleanse or a diet. It’s basically a stripping of your normal diet in order to reset your metabolism and negative effects certain foods have on your system. You don’t eat small amounts of feed, there are no shakes, it’s simply cutting things out. In short, no grains (bread, pasta, rice, quinoa etc.), no dairy, sugar and no legumes. After the 30 days of cutting these foods out, I am going to slowly add them back in to see what effects my stomach. Starting with dairy, because I really don’t want to live the rest of my life without cheese!!!!
So what am I eating to keep my energy up while training for a marathon? Lots of potatoes and squash. Before I even decided to commit to this I did a lot of research and planned out my 30 days of meals. I’m a creature of habit so I can eat the same things throughout the week without getting sick of it as long as I change it up the next week and on the weekends getting creative with eating out yet still sticking to the Whole 30.
Here’s what it looks like:
Week 1:

Breakfast: Spaghetti Squash Quiche
Lunch: Slow cooker Sweet Potato Chili
Dinner: Chicken tenders, roasted potatoes and broccoli
Week 2: 
 
Breakfast:  Southwest Breakfast Casserole
Lunch: Spaghetti Squash and meatballs (slow cooker)
Dinner: Chicken stir fry
Week 3: 
Breakfast: Sausage and sweet potato hash
Lunch: Slow cooker BBQ chicken on a bake potato
Dinner:  Butternut squash soup, burger and green vegetable
Week 4: 
 
Breakfast: Sausage and egg breakfast bites
Lunch: Paleo Meat Loaf, roasted potatoes and veg
Dinner: Slow cooker chicken fajitas with avocado
Snacks: Fruits like apples, celmentines, and bananas. Different nuts and almond butter!
Stay tuned for some of these recipes coming up in the next few weeks!

Meal Prep 101

We’ve all heard the saying “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Well, in light of the 21 day fix and general meal planning BLOWING up on my facebook news feed I thought I would write a post on my tips about meal prep and how I’ve found easier (and tastier) ways to make my life easier during the week.

I won’t lie, I used to be from the school of thought where you had to eat 6 meals a day and everything had to be carefully measured and portioned out for each meal. No salt, condiments or anything that would add any extra calories. Don’t worry. I have long since moved on from there. However, I do still meal prep. I work full time now as well as train clients after work and write programs for remote clients so cooking during the week is not very feasible for me unless I want to eat at 9:30 at night (ahem, I’m usually in bed by then). Meal prepping can be a daunting task, how do you pick what to make for the week? What do you cook ahead of time? What can wait? Will it go bad before you can get to it? Here’s some things that I have found to help me.

IMG_11301. Plan.
It seems obvious right? But I plan for the next week, probably Wednesday of the week before. I decide what I want to cook and make my grocery list. I make sure all of my meals are balanced, there’s always a healthy carb, protein and a good amount of vegetables. Also, I look at my schedule for the following week.

2. Keep it simple.IMG_0509

Don’t keep it so simple that you’re eating boiled chicken and steamed broccoli
everyday. But don’t try to make your own salad dressing and meat balls from scratch in one afternoon (Yes I did this and I was miserable). I pick dishes that are easy, tasty and healthy. My cook time on a Sunday is usually only about an hour long. Lately I’ve been on a kick with one pot meals, simple and less clean up!

IMG_10593. Get comfortable with eating the same things.

I eat the same meal for lunch and the same meal for dinner all week. But it doesn’t bother me as long as it tastes good. If the meal I’ve prepped is a flop, then it gets a little hard to swallow down. Same goes for the opposite. If I LOVE a meal I’ve prepped I can’t wait to eat it every day. I know a lot of people like variety, so do I. I usually never make the same thing twice in a month so that I can keep it fresh every week.

4. Don’t even try to MEAL prepIMG_0510

If you’re just starting out, don’t try to cook everything. I hate to cook everything on Sunday’s in fear of food going bad. If I have the rare night during the week where I have time to cook again, I’ll prep that food so it’s a quick into the oven or onto the stove. Any little bit helps, so if you’re making something that calls for chopping vegetables or marinating meat, do that ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. I even do this with smoothies, I’ll chop up fruit and put it in a bag until I’m ready to throw it in the blender so that in the morning when I haven’t gotten my coffee yet, I don’t even have to think about it.

5. Skip a meal.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I don’t prep breakfast at all. I love eggs as much as the next person. But honestly, it just one more thing on my plate. I used to do overnight oats as well, but sometimes at night I just want to come home and veg out. So I keep breakfast non-cooked. I’ll have oatmeal that I can just throw in the microwave or yogurt with my own fruit and granola added.

Here’s one meal that I made this week and was SUPER easy and quick:

Pesto Mozzarella Chicken w/ Brown Rice and Spinach (Makes 4 servings)IMG_1157

1 lb chicken
4 tbsp pesto (or you can make your own)
2 Tomatos
2 cloves garlic

1 Package Spinach
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tbsp Olive oil or any oil of your choice
4 slices of mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes. Finely chop garlic. Place chicken breast in oven safe dish. Spread 1 tbsp pesto on to each chicken breast and then top with 2 slices of tomatos. Bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove from oven, place mozzarella on top of eat chicken breast and then continue to bake for another 5 minutes.

Add brown rice and 2 cups water to a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Once brown rice is cooked remove from heat, add tbsp olive oil, spinach and chopped garlic to the pot. Cover and let it steam, and stir everything together.

Then divide however you would like, Tupperware, eat it right away, feed it to the cat. Whatever you please but you just made lunch/dinner for 4 days!

True Life: I gave up pizza for a month

Normally, I detest the words, cleanse, detox and diet and don’t encourage my clients  or anyone for that matter  to do any of them. I have had bad enough experiences with them on my own to know, you know it’s just not for everyone and not always the best idea. As many of you know I went on a strict diet to prep for my bikini competition, which was almost 2 years ago and that left me in the hands of a horrible rebound where I went from about 110 lbs to 140 lbs. All of which I have struggled to take off in these past 2 years.

At one point in time I was talked into trying an un-named 24 day cleanse, which involved various shakes, powders and pills. In the second portion of the cleanse it involved taking a packet of about about 6 pills at each meal, and after all the damage I have done to my stomach, I couldn’t even finish the 24 days because the packets made me ill. A promoter tried to convince me to sell this product, but I can’t really back something that I can’t even take myself.
But after hibernating this past winter and adding on to the previous weight gain, I unnamedwas getting desperate. Rob had done the Isagenix 30 day (gasp) cleanse before, so decided that I would give it a try and we should go at it together. After doing some research on it, I learned that it involved taking 2 meal replacement shakes a day, having one healthy meal and only a couple of pills and supplements. For the first two weeks, two of those days are “Cleanse” days and you don’t eat, you take various vitamins and supplements to keep your energy up but that’s it. The idea behind it is, to get your body used to eating less calories (not ordering two large pizzas and downing them in one sitting…yes we did that). I looked into that was in the supplements and it didn’t seem that bad, no caffeine (which I can’t have because of my ulcer last year) and the ingredients were mostly natural and high quality. So I decided to give it shot even though it goes against what I usually believe in.
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We started on April 8th, and as you have guessed since I’m posting this on May 8th, I survived the 30 days without any cheats. No pizza, no wine, no sweets and I feel pretty darn good. Now the part I know you’re waiting for…how much did I lose? Yes, I lost weight, 12 pounds to be exact. But more importantly, I feel like this was a good kick start to get me back on that healthy path again that I used to be on. I started training MORE and didn’t slack off at all, I found healthy recipes to try to out and I want to continue with this, with a few cheat meals (not cheat DAY) here and there. Get ready for some of my creations!!
I know it might now be for everyone, but if you feel like you absolutely need SOMETHING, then I suggest trying this out. However, beware, while you might lose a lot of weight in those 30 days, you can’t go back to how you were and expect to keep that weight off. You need to have an exit plan and that’s exactly what I created for post cleanse. I am going to reverse diet, aka slowly increase my calorie intake so that I don’t gain weight again and my metabolism can readjust. I still would like to lose a little bit more weight, but I know it’s not realistic to stay so low calorie for so long and not go crazy!!!
PS. You better BELIEVE I am getting pizza as my first cheat meal. SO excited.