Whole 30 Week 2

 

Week two is in the books of the Whole 30. I won’t lie. I was craving donuts at the beginning of the week. Really badly. I almost broke down. But the thought of going back to constantly feeling bloated and burping all the time deterred me. Plus I want to do this the right way. I’m also feeling better in my own skin again. Can somebody say hello abs? These babies haven’t made an appearance in years. Per the rules of the Whole 30 I have no weighed myself. But I’m loving what I see!!image1

Week 2 menu:

Breakfast: Southwest Breakfast Casserole

Lunch: Spaghetti Squash and meatballs

Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry

Southwest Breakfast Casserole

I was surprised by this one, I usually don’t like ground chicken. It’s just weird to me, but I enjoyed this recipe!

1 red bell pepperIMG_2027
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
1 lb ground chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
7 oz can of chopped green chili

6 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Chop peppers and onion and cook them in a skillet until onion is translucent. Set aside to cool. Add chicken to skillet and juice from the green chili, cook until slightly browned. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and coconut milk. Once the chicken and veggies are cooled to room temperature mix into eggs and pour into a 9-in greased pie pan. Bake for 35-40 min!

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

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Probably my favorite meal this week. I didn’t even miss real pasta and the spaghetti squash was surprisingly filling!

1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp rosemary
2 medium sized spaghetti squash
24 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 egg

In large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and coconut flour. Mix together with hands until well incorporated, add in egg and continue to mix. Form into large meatballs, about 6-8. Grease skillet, brown meatballs on each side. You don’t have to cook thoroughly, they will cook in the crock pot. Add meat balls to slow cooker, top meat balls with tomatoes, onion and garlic. Serve with fresh basil and spaghetti squash.

Chicken Stir Fry

IMG_2075 (1)So I kind of winged this one. There’s no real recipe, I just took a chicken breast and whatever vegetables I had (mushroom, spinach, pepper, and onion) and sauteed it all together in some coconut oil. It was pretty bland so I found a Whole 30 approved Tahini sauce at Trader Joe’s and added that. It made a HUGE difference. Some times you just have to experiment and see what works for you. I have to say that my meals are usually anything BUT boring!

 

 

Here are some other meals that I tried during the weekend:

 

Sweet potato hash with eggs:

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Prosciutto wrapped chicken thighs with a baked potato and side salad:

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B Good Burger with no bun, avocado and an egg with sweet potato fries:  IMG_2054

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The Whole 30 Week 1

With week one under my belt I can definitely tell that my stomach has been so much better (aka less burps) . It’s hard to say energy wise how I’m doing since I just added a second job on top of a full time job and training for a marathon. But I have no cravings for any of the off limit foods and I think it’s because I’ve had good meals to look forward to.

Week 1 meal plan was the following:

Breakfast- Spaghetti squash quiche

Lunch- Chicken tenders with roasted potatoes and broccoli

Dinner- Sweet potato chili

 

Spaghetti Squash QuicheIMG_1999

This was probably my favorite of the week. I didn’t even miss the cheese that I would usually put in an egg-y dish!

1 spaghetti squash

6 whole eggs

Mixings of your choosing: I used 5 slices of bacon, mushrooms and spinach

Bake spaghetti squash at 350 for 40 min, remove and leg cool. Once cooled use fork to remove the squash from shell. Take a 9 in greased pie pan and smoosh the squash to the sides of the pan so it creates a “crust.” Place chopped mixings into the crust

In a separate bowl whisk together the 6 eggs. Pour over the mixings in the crust and then bake for about 40 min or until egg has settled.

About 5 servings

 

Chicken tenders

These were super tasty, but I think next time I’ll pan fry them and then stick them in the oven for a little bit too.

IMG_19941 lb chicken tenders

1 egg

1 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk or other nondairy milk of your choosing

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

 

 

In a mixing bowl whisk together the egg and unsweetened coconut milk.

In a second bowl combine the coconut flour, garlic powder and salt.

Dredge the chicken in the egg mixture and coat with the coconut flour mixture. Lightly fry in a pan with coconut oil until cooked all the way through.

 

Sweet Potato Chili

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I was skeptical of this meal because I’m so used to traditional bean chili topped with cheese. But this was delicious all on its own. When shopping for the ingredients for this recipe though, make sure you’re reading labels to make sure you’re not buying anything with added sugar to it.

1 onion (chopped)

1 15oz can tomato sauce IMG_1992

1 15 oz can diced tomato

1 can water

1 large sweet potato, chopped into 1 inch cubes

1 lb ground beef

1 1/2 tbsp cocao powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in crock pot, breaking up beef before putting it in. Cook and low for 8-10 hours. Enjoy!

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!

Protein Pancake Muffins!

I, like many people, struggle with getting enough protein in my breakfast in the morning. Which has been a shame because I’ve found it super important for me to get enough protein in the morning so I don’t crash early on in the day. But my problem is, I get sick of yogurt especially during the winter. I like eggs but I don’t have time to cook them every morning and I’m not a huge fan of reheating them. I love protein pancakes but that’s also hard to travel well…so I decided to combine the famous egg muffin idea with a protein pancake.

Results: SUCCESS!!!

I made these beauties, they’re super easy to make and delicious! Here’s the recipe for you…IMG_1359

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 container (5.3 oz) siggi’s vanilla bean yogurt
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 scoop of protein (I used Whey Better’s peanut butter)
  • toppings of your choice (I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If it’s too think add either coconut or almond milk. Use muffin liners in your pan (I found that the tin ones are better, the paper ones were hard to peel off and I ended up eating paper). Pour evenly into muffin cups (about 6-8 muffins) place on toppings and bake for about 20 mins or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy!!!!

 

Staying Motivated

Let’s talk motivation. I get this questioned a lot on staying motivated, especially, right after Halloween. The end of the year is coming and we all have parties and holidays and celebrations are coming. But that doesn’t mean that you just stop working towards your goals, if this is all about living a healthy LIFESTYLE then you should fit eating healthy and working out into the schedule. But in order to stay motivated you have to remind yourself WHY.

WHY did you start this in the first place? What is the big picture? Holiday season is only two months. What about all the hard work you just put in for the past 10?

Keep this in mind to keep going. But I know you’re thinking, there’s so many cookies and so much candy laying around this time of year. MAKE it work for you. Treat yourself to a little candy (keyword here is little) so that you won’t be tempted to over indulge in one sitting. This is why I’m a huge fan of IIFYM. You can have some candy, just cut back on the rest of the day. Want a cookie midday? Go ahead but skip carbs at dinner, and watch how many grams of fat you’re eating. In short, make your other meals as healthy as possible.images

Check your portion sizes too. I have the bad habit of standing at the treats table and just mindlessly stuffing my face. WALK AWAY. Fill a plate and find another spot in the room to chat.

Maybe you won’t get as many work outs in as you usually do, maybe you don’t have as much time. But make the most out of the time you DO have. You can get a killer work out in, in just 30 minutes. You can even get a killer work out in in just 30 minutes while you’re at home! You pigeon hole yourself to just the gym. It’s about getting creative and making time in your day. May be you have to switch your night work outs to morning ones, maybe you have to combine two in one day.

One of the things that I’ve found to keep me motivated in my off season from races, is planning my next year. I’ve already picked out what races I want to do next year (full marathon here I come!), I’ve set goals for my off season (cutting a minute off my mile time, and building up my power on the bike). Remember, try to pick goals that are not so scale and body image oriented. I feel like that’s really important this time of the year especially. If you’re like me and you started this lifestyle in order to feel good, don’t bash yourself for over doing it, or skipping a work out. Just make every attempt to do better next time and try not to use food and work outs as punishment. Fitness should be FUN.

This is my fun face.

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What is IIFYM?!

Let’s talk food and what you eat. In my last post we talked about Meal Prepping and how to make it simple and more beneficial for your life style. But how do you choose WHAT to eat? That’s probably the biggest question I get from clients.

I’m a believer in the If It Fits Your Macros school of thought. No, this is not all about eating doughnuts and junk all the time and saying “This is good for you!” I like to eat healthy foods, but not ones that are plain and boring. So I often mix it up to keep myself from getting bored and off track, it’s also a great way to keep with your goals and still live your life.

So first, WHAT are macros?

Macros is short for macronutrients, our major nutrients found in foods. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

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One gram of carbs contains 4 calories

One gram of protein contains 4 calories

One gram of fat contains 9 calories

Why are these so important?

Each macronutrient plays a different role in our bodies which is why it’s SO important to make sure you get a balanced diet and you don’t leave one out.

Carbohydrates. They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs.

Proteins are essential for growth and development. They help build lean muscle mass, and are the energy source when you do not intake carbohydrates. In short, if you cut out carbohydrates, you must use protein for energy which means breaking down your muscles and essentially slowing down your metabolism.

Fats help protect our vital organs, help us absorb fat soluble vitamins and provide us with a high density energy source. There are three types of fats (saturated, unsaturated and trans fat). No trans fat does not equal weight loss. It just simply has been shown that unsaturated fat decreases the risk for heart disease.

How do I figure how much of each I should consume?macronutrients

It’s all about trial and error. Every body is different based on how often they work out, if they have a damaged metabolism from long bouts of dieting, and personal goals such as putting on muscle or losing weight. You can figure out your numbers through an online calculator but those are not going to take these types of things into account.

Having an actual HUMAN help guide you and adjust your macros accordingly as
your body changes is going to be better than any calculator you find online. Once, the numbers are figured out then you can use a food calculator to track your foods and make sure you’re hitting your numbers.

So you’re saying I can eat whatever I want as long as I hit my numbers?

Yes. And no. I will never tell anyone to eat crap all day and say it’s okay. There are still essential vitamins and minerals that you get from whole foods and not from processed foods. But under IIFYM, you can treat your self occasionally and not feel guilty. There is also a difference between having high glycemic index carbs (processed foods) and low glycemic index carbs (whole foods like brown rice, quinoa and potatoes). But that’s another post in itself.

What does this mean?

It’s possible to not have to “diet” to get the body you want. You don’t have to starve, deprive or go crazy trying to slim down.

If you want more help figure all this out, check out my different work out and nutrition plans  I offer.

How running helped me overcome my eating disorder

Eating disorders are a subject that people often dance around, too afraid to talk about. I used to be one of those people, because I was always too afraid to admit that I was sick. I never thought that I had one because I was never “sick looking” enough. I never toed that dangerous line of extreme emaciation, but inside I was a complete mess.
 It’s no secret that eating disorders mostly effect women (but I know there are men image1out there that do struggle with them as well), but when it comes to athletes, the chances increase because so much is focused on our bodies and how they perform. More often than not that thoughts “If I just lose a few more pounds I’ll be faster, more agile, jump higher….” etc. I know I constantly had those thoughts as a competitive cheerleader and a dancer, where image was everything. As I got older, I decided to try out bikini competitions, another sport where everything focused on your image. I started working out harder to feed this disease that was eating at me from the inside out. I battled with anorexia and bulimia for 14 years before I decided enough was enough.
image2These past two years I have slowly overcome something I’ve battled with for half my life. I’ve stopped focusing on whats in the mirror and more on what my body can do. This past year I’ve really focused on training for a half marathon and sprint distance triathlons. Running, swimming and biking have given my life back to me. I’m no longer focusing on how little I can eat but what I can do, and if I don’t fuel properly I’m not going to do well.
 I remember one particularly bad run I had this past year, I didn’t eat enough the two days prior and I set out for a 9 mile long distance run. About mile 3, I hit a wall. My legs didn’t want to move anymore, my heart was racing and my eye sight became fuzzy. That’s when I realized I couldn’t let myself go down that path again. I suddenly had this hunger to do well, and not just burn off calories. I started to track my work outs as opposed to my food and focused on seeing those numbers improve while still eating over 1000 calories and not scrutinizing every little bite. I love seeing number average times on runs and swims decrease and my body adapt to my training.
I won’t say that I’m fully recovered. There are some days where I have to fight the urge to binge and purge or not eat at all to make up for a bad weekend. But everyday I’m fighting to nurture my body and gain my inner strength through my sport.

Ditching the scale!

IMG_0907For the most part of my life I have been a slave to the scale, it doesn’t help that I grew a dancer and a cheerleader where being tiny was praised and any extra ounce was frowned upon. Before I actually knew anything about fitness, I mostly controlled what I ate so that I wouldn’t gain any weight. Some times I would do some crunches and leg lifts in my room (seriously, I knew nothing about fitness in high school) or run around the block a couple times. I didn’t even really eat healthy, mostly just tried to keep my calories low, low, low to the point where I would black out during practice and would skip any family meals in order to avoid over eating. I definitely had a bad relationship with food, my body and the mirror.

unnamed (1)This past couple of months, I have decided to ditch the scale and my fitness pal and
focus on athletic abilities instead. Yes, I still want to feel good and look good and I still eat fairly healthy (with treats in moderation) but finding a sport I enjoy has made a huge difference. I feel better about my body and how I look because I know how hard I can push myself, how much I’ve improved over these months. Those numbers have become more important to me than the arbitrary number on the scale.
Keeping myself busy has also helped me not concentrate on the scale. I’ve filled my days with training, work and living life that doesn’t revolve around fitness like enjoying the city I live and and traveling without guilt. It’s really helped on the handling of my sanity. I can take a break from the plan do things like go to the zoo (I love all the animals!!!) or sleep in late my boyfriend.
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 I no longer weigh myself 50 times a day or worry about ever morsel I put into my mouth. I don’t have a goal weight that I’m aiming towards, I know that my body will eventually reflect that effort that I’m putting in. I’m also taking care of myself more, no more low calorie diets, I’m fueling my body for my work outs so that I can make it through them and do the best that I’m capable of.
So please join me in trashing the scale and loving your body for what it can do not what you see in the mirror!

Swimming, biking and running, oh my!: Marshfield Duxbury Triathlon

Let’s face it, I’m addicted to races. I love the community that it brings together, the rush of adrenaline and the feeling of accomplishment (as well as the finisher medals). I have some 5ks, a few 10ks and a couple half marathons under my belt from the past 5 years or so. I love challenging myself and while a full marathon is still daunting to me, I’ve been itching for something new. So last year after watching Rob participate in the Boston Triathlon, I decided that this was something I could do given enough time.
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So the past year I have worked my butt off to get into shape for a tri. I JUST learned how to swim (well, swim properly and not doggie paddle) in 2014, so I have focused on becoming a better swimmer and a faster a runner. The bike kind of came along on it’s own (and it helps that I got a pretty new Cannondale that’s much lighter than my old bike!) While my swimming is SO much better, the idea of open water swimming still is daunting. I know I know, I have a wet suit on and it’s like wearing a flotation device, but it’s very different than swimming in a nice chlorinated pool that eventually comes to an end. A couple weeks before the race I went out with my coach and practiced, in the beginning I had some anxiety and was slow and didn’t do the course we had planned. But I eventually did a full mile which was the goal for distance that day. I felt good afterwards and felt like I could conquer the open water in the race.
I was wrong. Terribly wrong. I started out the day already nervous, I didn’t know what to expect how conditions would be, the swim pattern, the bike mount zone and not to mention a beach run. But then as we’re running out to the first bouy where we would start the swim anxiety hit me. I could barely do three strokes without having to stop to breathe. I started doing a weird head above water breast stroke, side stroke combo. Once I got to the turn around though I felt much better and was finally able to swim normally and zoomed past everyone to the shore!
23415140_race_0.25631262029953683.displayThe bike portion was easy peasy. I was flying on my new bike, the back roads we were on were pretty, quiet and very little traffic. Not too many hills and fairly flat and fast. I loved it. Then the run. The run is my favorite part and it started off badly.
First, I read the athlete’s guide before the race cover to cover. One of the rules was, if you forget your bib number for the run, you will be disqualified. What do I realize as soon as I left the transition area? I forgot my bib number. SO for 3 miles I’m running along a soft sandy beach, glutes on FIRE, worried that my time won’t count and all this work was for nothing. Then I’m upset because I’m going so slow and I’m not doing as well as I know I’m capable of doing and I’m just mentally beating myself up.
All in all, I did not cross that finish line in smiles like I hoped. It took all I could to not cry as I packed up all my gear. But hind sight is 20/20 and I actually was a lot faster then I thought I was. I’m looking at this tri as a practice one for the Nantasket Tri next month in September. I have exactly 6 weeks from Sunday to kill it and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.
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