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.

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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!!!

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

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!

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!!!!

 

Fuel up!

This weekend I learned a valuable less the hard way: you need to fuel your work outs properly or it could end in a disaster. I’m no professional athlete. I don’t run as fast as most and I’m not as strict with my diet as some. I like to treat myself to a yummy meal or a sweet treat. I work out hard, so why not, right?

Well Sunday morning, I learn exactly why not. Saturday night we decided to stay in, pop in a movie and order some take out. Indian was decided on, and I figured sure, it’s a good carby meal to fuel my long run for the next day. I woke up the next morning ready to take on the world, only to find out that my boyfriend had NOTHING to eat in his house except for a Kind bar and some gummy vitamins. I munched on those, strapped on my Garmin and hit the road with my running buddy Kate. Not three miles into our 9.5 mile run, I started to feel ill and was dry heaving. The carby Indian meal was not settling well and it was ruining my morning. I managed to make it through the 9.5 miles (slowly, with a few stops along the way to ahem, clear the stomach) but it wasn’t fun and I realized I need to stick with oldies but goodies.

I really should have known better about the Indian food, I usually stick with some pasta and a salad the night before a race…why should the night before a long run be any different? It doesn’t matter though if you’re getting ready for a race or just plan on getting up early for a yoga class or a early morning gym session, what you put into your body the night before is going to determine how you perform the next day. If you don’t eat enough, if you eat too much or like me, you eat the wrong thing.

As for the morning, from now on I’ll pack what I plan on eating, don’t depend on anyone else! Not everyone wakes up early to work out, and not everyone fuels with the same things. Our bodies are all different and we function on different sources. My boyfriend doesn’t really have a lot of breakfast food because he usually works out later in the day and has already had a few meals in him. I NEED the morning fuel.

Don’t know what works for you? Try out some different things. Here’s what I have found works best for me.

When it comes to running I keep it simple with some gluten free waffles and a little bit of teddies peanut butter spread on top.

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If I’m lifting in the morning I like to have something a little bit more substantial, and imgreseither have some oatmeal with banana and peanut butter or some yogurt with fruit, chia seeds and some GoLean crunch cereal (an amazing combination by the way).

images1Hydration is something that I’ve been struggling with this summer and I’ve found that I need something MORE than water is needed for how much I sweat on my runs. I’m really loving Skratch labs hydration. All the flavors I’ve tried are really good, my favorite though so far has been pineapple.

My suggestion to you is to try different things out, it’s taken me awhile  (and some nasty work outs) to figure out what works best. Find the combo that works and stick with it so that you feel good about your fitness and not want to die like I did on Sunday!!!

#LoveBulu: Bulu Box Review

As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I get a chance to review fun products. This post is sponsored by Bulu Box and I received a box free of charge to facilitate my honest review. The post may also contain affiliate links.

I’ve done a few subscription boxes in the past, one for clothes and one for make up. I always enjoyed getting the little package during the month with surprises inside. For the most part I’ve liked what I received, a few things ended up being gifted or returned but other than that I’ve discovered some new styles I like and beauty products that have changed my routine. So when the opportunity to receive a Bulu Box came up, I was thrilled. image1

My box arrived last night finally and I right away tore it open, excited to see what goodies were inside and this is what I found:

First there’s the itch cream, which right now I am thankful for since it’s summer and I’m spending a lot of time outside and I get eaten alive. Seriously, it’s like the bugs are just attracted to me, hopefully it helps with my misery!
After that is the Mediterra Bar, which was sundried tomato basil flavored. I LOVE anything basil…well most things. This one, just not my cup of tea, I’ll stick to the sweet granola bars instead!

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Then we get to something interesting….protein powder made of Crickets! Apparently, this form of protein is more sustainable, and by the looks of the ingredients, more natural. Normally I would be weirded out by this but my boyfriend is currently really into cricket granola bars lately, so we’re going to try this product out together. Yay bugs!

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Next is Island Boost, which is to help with muscle cramps and hydration during really tough work outs. I’m saving this one for one of my long runs!download

Hiding in the back is a strange looking T shaped tooth brush. I guess I’ll save that for traveling? Lastly, dietary fiber powder. Um…maybe someone out there knows I have trouble going sometimes???

If you want to try out Bulu Box for yourself, FitApproach and Bulu Box have teamed up and are offering 50% off your first 3-month subscription. Just head over to Bulu Box and add the SWEATPINK code during check out! ck to the sweet granola bars instead! and Bulu Box have teamed up and are offering 50% off your first 3-month subscription. Just head over to Bulu Box and add the SWEATPINK code during check out!

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!

Blue Apron

I’m constantly bombarded with ads on facebook for these companies that delivers pre-measured fresh chef-created recipe ingredients to your door. I’m sure you’ve seen them since there’s about a million of them out there right now, so A few weeks ago I set up my Blue Apron account, set my preferences (no vegetarian options, please I need my protein!), and waited for my first delivery to arrive via FedEx on a Friday evening.  You can choose for them to send servings for 2, 4 or 6 people per meal and they send three meals a week.  Shipping is always free and they charge $9.99 per person per meal. The food came in refrigerated boxes so even if you aren’t home when it is all delivered it will stay fresh until you get home (mine sat outside in the heat for 6 hours and was still cold when I opened it!)  I love the fact that I didn’t have to go to the grocery store for anything.

Blue Apron assumes you have salt and pepper and oil, but otherwise, they include everything you need to prepare a complete meal, from the butter in our mashed potatoes to the lime we needed for huevos rancheros, all with instructions that were written out step by step. I was pleased to see they are making a conscious effort to support sustainable practices with local farms when got the farm fresh eggs for those huevos rancheros.

I’ve enjoyed the experience so far with Blue Apron because it gets me to try new recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise make because why in the world would I ever think to buy Sambal Oelek and make Hoisoin-Glazed Chicken meatballs? (They were delicious by the way.) I tend to be a creature of habit and buy the same type of ingredients over and over again, and make some slightly different version of each dish. My only complaint is that, even though I’m not vegetarian some weeks they force you to have a vegetarian meal and while the meals aren’t that expensive I would like to have SOME protein with my meal for a balanced diet. You can see the what they have available a head of time though and skip a week if you want. I tend to get a box maybe once a month, especially since we’ve been so busy this summer and I don’t tend to get around to cooking all the time.

So far my favorites have been:

Huevos Rancheros (If you didn’t notice I mentioned them twice already 🙂 )

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Pan seared steak with smashed potatoes, snap peas and radish

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Turkey Steam buns with quick kimchi (picture from their site because mine didn’t look as pretty)

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Overall, I say give it a try! I haven’t had a meal that didn’t like at all. I have liked some more than others, but I haven’t really been disappointed!!!

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.