Whole 30 Challenge Day 3 & 4

Ok, folks. The struggle is real.

I’m in the beginning (and hopefully near ending) stages of craving EVERYTHING. I even drove by Taco Bell on my way home from work, and salivated. AND I HATE TACO BELL!! It’s so disgusting, but all I can think about is greasy, fatty food and warm, fudgy chocolate sauce. Ugh.

But. I’m powering through.

While I am being honest and upfront with this blog – I do want to admit that I had a snack cracker pack this morning on my way into work. (Fail on grains/cheese/processed foods) This morning for breakfast, I heated up my Chicken Sausage Hash, but one bite in, and I could tell it was on its last leg (I cooked a big portion on Sunday). The celery and potatoes were soggy and the chicken just did not taste so good, so I threw it out. I was already running late for work, so I scarfed down a few pieces of pineapple and strawberry with coconut, but before I was out of our apartment complex, my stomach was already growling again. I knew it would be a rough day if I didn’t eat anything until lunch, so I stopped at 7-eleven. I prayed there would be a Lara Bar or something compliant but could not find anything. So i grabbed the closest thing to me, a small pack of cheese crackers, and went on my way. While this was not the best decision, the crackers kept my fire going until I ate lunch.

Anyways…on to what I ate:

Day 3:
Breakfast: Chicken Sausage Hash + strawberries
Lunch: Homemade Stir Fry (same as previous 2 days)
Snack: Strawberries/Pineapple + coconut
Dinner: Steak, sweet potato fries, brussel sprouts

Day 4:
Breakfast: Cheese crackers
Lunch: Homemade Stir Fry with a side of strawberries and coconut
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Overall, not too bad, other than the stupid crackers. But. I’m not going to kick myself about this. I sucked it up and made the rest of the meals today count.

So. Moving on.

My headaches are pretty much gone now. I’m also drinking SO much water during the day. I’m still missing dairy, flavored drinks (like Fruitwaters) , and just a little sweet dish after dinner. I mean c’mon..sugar free jello? Nope. can’t eat that either. Blerg.

Whole 30 Days 5, 6, and 7 will occur over the weekend – the hardest part of the week to stay on track – so I’m really hoping I can make this happen.

Y’all have any ideas for meals for next week?



Whole 30 Challenge Days 1 & 2

Welp, I’ve officially made it 2 full days into the Whole 30 Challenge! 28 more days to go! Blerg.

So far it really hasn’t been that bad. Here’s what I’ve been eating:

Day 1:
Breakfast: Chicken Sausage “Hash” with sweet potatoes/celery
Snack: Lara Bar
Lunch: Homemade veggie stir fry with coconut aminos in place of soy sauce
Dinner: Homemade burrito bowl over broccoli slaw

Day 2:
Breakfast: Chicken Sausage “Hash”
Lunch: Homemade veggie stir fry with coconut aminos
Snack: Apple Chips
Dinner: Chicken Burger with Avocado, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato Fries, and Unsweetened Applesauce



Things I Miss: 

I’m still really missing milk. and Peanut Butter. Those are pretty much the only things I miss and crave. Also, it sucks to open up the pantry and see Nutella in there. Greta comes this week, so I’m craving all sorts of bad foods, but trying to suck it up and eat what I’m supposed to. I haven’t really been missing brown rice/quinoa too much, but I think its just a mental thing. Part of my brain wants to believe that I HAVE to eat a grain/carb at every meal, when I don’t really need to.

Things That Are Weird: 

Breakfast. I’ve never really been a breakfast food lover, but the idea of eating dinner-type foods for breakfast is kind of weird to me. I typically eat an English muffin w/ peanut butter for breakfast. But now I’m eating chicken sausage, sweet potatoes, and celery. Again, just another mental thing.



Things I’m Struggling With: 

Snacks. And making sure I’m eating enough. With Whole 30, you’re supposed to be eating enough at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to where snacks are not really necessary. HOWEVER, since I’m running and working out, I need a bit more to keep the fire burning. Since I also work a full-time job, it’s hard to keep fresh snacks on hand that are Whole 30 approved. I did find some Apple Chips at Whole Foods and they were delicious. The ingredients? Fuji apples. That’s it! The only downside is they are so expensive (about $2.99 for a small bag). I also bought a few Lara Bars that I’ll be eating as well.

apple chips

How I’m Feeling: 

Other than impending Greta, I’m doing just fine so far. A slight headache is starting to set in at the end of day 2, however, I’m not too sure if its because of stress, Greta, or not eating enough.  The always say the first few days are the hardest to let your body acclimate…and it is tough…but not as bad as it could be.

Looking forward to continuing on!

Why I’m Doing The Whole 30


If you blog (or read health/wellness blogs) I’m sure you’ve heard of The Whole 30. The nutrition program was designed by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig to change your life in 30 days. Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s what I thought, too. So I started to dig a bit deeper. Here’s an overview of The Whole 30:



Sounds awful, right? When I first starting reading about Whole 30, I was really overwhelmed with the things that I could not eat. I mean, sheesh! Dairy, Grains, Sugar, and Soy…that’s my entire diet! After further reading, I’ve learned that the “no-no” foods affect your body in specific, negative ways and could be impacting the way I’m exercising and living and breathing. I purchased “It Starts With Food” and read it in a few hours. What I like is that the authors put all the science behind why these foods do not do your body good…and it all makes sense! I won’t go into the science, because I know I’ll never be able to explain it like they can. Just do yourself a favor and read the book!

So…why am I doing this? 

I decided to do The Whole 30 when Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans created an accountability group for this. I actually wanted to start in April, and did a “trial run” – but not the entire program since April is full of birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. Since I’m training for my half marathon I figured this couldn’t hurt me. I mean, the foods I’d be putting in my body would be healthy, whole foods. Also, I’m slowly learning that diet is the most important thing for me to focus on for weight loss. Abs really are made in the kitchen! (ok, I don’t have abs yet…just sayin’!)

Will this be hard? 

Um Yes. Did you see the list of things I can’t eat above? I LOVE me a glass of milk with dinner (yes I am 6 yrs old) and soy practically comes in everything. It’s really going to be a struggle to prepare and eat healthy, whole foods weekly, but I’m up for the challenge!

Is Donovan doing it too? 

Yes and no. While I don’t expect him to do The Whole 30 with me, I’m sure he’ll be eating a lot healthier a long the way, too, since I’m the cook. Will I be mad if he slips and drinks alcohol or eats rice or cheats? Not at all. It was not his decision to do this nutrition program. If he wants to eat alongside me, great! But no hard feelings whatsoever if he doesn’t eat the same things…although I will be sad if he eats cookies in front of me 🙂

What will my biggest challenges be?

 Avoiding dairy products will be hard. Also avoiding brown rice and random processed food. You don’t realize how processed some foods you eat are until you look at the labels.

How much will I spend? 

We spent $160 on groceries for the first week. While this does seem like a lot – it includes the cost for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners + snacks. That’s about $7 a meal. I’m sure I could get this lower, but I did need to stock up on a few things this week that we don’t normally by. Mainly – coconut aminos. We go through soy sauce like crazy people, so I bought a huge bottle of coconut aminos to supplement.

How long will it take to prepare each week?

Hopefully not long! I bought all the groceries for week 1 today and spent about an hour and a half chopping vegetables and preparing meals. In this time, I made 8 lunches (5 for me, 3 for Dono) for the work week – plus breakfasts for the both of us through Wednesday-ish. (I’ll make a new breakfast for the end of the week). I also chopped up fruits and veggies to have accessible for any meal. I really didn’t spend much more time than I usually do chopping and preparing…so hopefully it’ll stay like this!

My thoughts on cheating? 

Well, of course, my goal/plan is to not cheat at all. I want to strictly follow this plan for 30 days and see the results at the end. I just keep telling myself that it is only 30 days. Not the rest of my life. And for all I know, this could really kick start my body improvements and get back on track to eat even healthier than I already am. HOWEVER, if I accidentally eat something processed or don’t realize i’ve eaten a “no-no” item…I’m not going to get down on myself. I’ll admit it on the blog and move forward.

Am I ready?

 Ready as I’ll ever be! I’m anxious, nervous, and excited to get started and see how my body changes. I’ve prepared myself for the first week which is always the hardest. I’m hoping to blog post at least every other day to keep you updated on my status and how my body feels…I’ll also post some recipes and pictures along the way.



Race Recap: The Vineyard Run @ Delaney Vineyards

Yesterday marked my 3rd 5k for 2014. Woop woop! My friend Katie had told us about The Vineyard Run at Delaney Vineyards a few months ago, before I had run any races at all, and it did sound appealing. Racing through a vineyard, and tasting wine after the event? I’m game. We registered a few weeks later and began training.

When I went to pick up our race packets, I also bought a few new running tank tops. If you know me at all, you know I don’t wear sleeveless shirts. I’ve never been comfortable exposing bear arms – even in high school when I was thin. I prefer atleast a cap sleeve…but it gets so hot in Texas, that I needed something lightweight and cool. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to avoid tan lines. While I was at Academy, I also picked up a Spi Belt. I’ve never really known what to do with my car keys, etc, when we’re running races, and figured this belt would help.

full length


The belt fit comfortably around my waist and was just big enough to hold my car keys, ID, and credit card. It would have fit my phone, too, but I wear that around my arm with my ear buds. I also loved that the belt did not bounce while I ran — I would definitely recommend this for outdoor runners/walkers. On longer distances, I might carry some chapstick, energy bar, etc.



Parking was really funky at this race. The Vineyard was right off the highway but there was practically no parking there. We had to park on the other side of the highway and walk. There were buses running back and forth, but the line was really long, so we just decided to walk since it was only about a mile. We walked around and checked out the vendors (free coconut water for the win!) and did a few stretches to get ready.

Once the gun went off, it took us about 2 minutes to cross the start line. The race was chip-timed so fortunately we do have accurate timing this time! One thing we had no idea about — THE HILLS! Omg. They were the hills of death. The whole course was up and down, up and down, and we had no idea. And I’m talking STEEP hills. It was so awful. I ended up walking more than running due to some crappy shin splints and the hills…but I still made it.



Since the race was close to our house, we invited my parents to come and cheer us on. We had no idea they would actually bring homemade signs to a 5k race! It was kind of funny, but definitely awesome. They are great cheerleaders!




We were so happy when the race was over. It was fun, but definitely tiresome, and it was already 90 degrees by the time it was over. We did stick around for a bit of wine tasting, but my heart just wasn’t in it. While wine sounded like a great motivation, I was too tired after the race to get excited about drinking wine at 10am.

Instead, we sacked it up, ate a quick lunch, and then headed to my parents house to lay by the pool and sit in the hot tub. Our friends came with us, and it was a glorious day to sit in the pool, soak up the sun, have a few drinks and relax. We ended up coming home around 730pm, promptly took showers, and went to bed at 8:15. Not kidding. We were exhausted!

Now we have to decide what race we want to do next!




HIIT is Hard

HIIT training is hard…but it’s where it’s at y’all. For reals.

For some reason, this week I decided to do a few HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. Don’t ask me why. I guess I’m just tired of mundane running at the same speed (aka: slow) and trying something new. Never hurts, right?!

So I did what any normal fitness guru would do and searched Pinterest for the latest and greatest HIIT workouts. The first one I stumbled upon looked good: (could not find original source, but found HERE)



I was anxious to get to the gym to try this on a treadmill. First of all, I did the whole workout without dying. Go me! Secondly…. I’ve decided I don’t like HIIT workouts where the incline changes. This was literally too difficult for me to keep up with while actually performing the workout, especially since some of the time changes only took places after 30 seconds! It may have been easier if I had someone telling me what to do, versus reading on the iPhone screen…but I did not prefer this workout.

Yesterday, I was determined to find a HIIT workout I liked, so I decided to make up my own, and this was MUCH better. I warmed up for 5 minutes by walking at a decently brisk pace. Then, I alternated running at 7.0 speed and walking at 3.5 speed. I did this for a few times before I decided to up the speed a bit to make it more challenging. So then I did a few rounds of alternating 7.5 speed with 3.5 speed. Then I upped it even more at 8.0 speed with 3.5 speed.

Let me just tell you…8.0 speed is FAST. I think it’s around an 8 minute mile…which is super fast for me. Granted I was only running 30 seconds “fast” and then walking for a minute, I was proud of myself for making my legs work so fast! I was only planning to do HIIT for about 20 minutes, but decided to round out 3 miles – which I did in under 40 minutes…also shocking. Now that I’m EXTREMELY sore, I know this training works! HA!

Overall, I think I need to add some more HIIT into my life for training. I can see how this would be helpful to make me a faster runner, but also to help lower my resting heart rate and burn calories longer after a workout. I need to do some more research and find some good HIIT programs that don’t alternate time/speed/incline because that’s just too overwhelming right now.

Do y’all have any experience with HIIT? Recommend any good trainings?

A Very Anniversary Weekend

I cannot believe a year of marriage has arrived! It’s been one wild, crazy, awesome year, and I can’t wait for the years to come. So….how did we celebrate?

On Friday night we met up with some friends at The Cellar in Las Colinas. We had heard from some friends that this place was pretty good, cheap drinks, and on the Las Colinas canal so the patio was great. Well, we were very disappointed in the service, food, and overall experience. None of the waiters were friendly or helpful, and they were VERY slow. The food was decent, but it turned out the place was more of a bar than an actual restaurant. Bummer. We’ll never have to eat there again!


group pic


On Saturday, we slept in and went for a short walk to get the day going. I then picked up a fresh top tier of our wedding cake from the bakery, Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas. Lucky for us- our bakery highly encouraged us to serve the top tier at our wedding instead of freezing it for the first anniversary. If you send professional pictures of your cake to the bakery, they’ll recreate the top tier for FREE on your first anniversary! The sad part- if we wanted to order this cake every year, it would cost us $75. Womp Womp.

On Saturday night, we met up with some friends we met on our honeymoon for dinner. Funny Story: on our honeymoon in Palm Island (very close to Venezuela aka: very far away) we met a really awesome couple, Sandy and Ray. We met them over lunch as iguanas were crawling up Sandy’s leg. Yes, disgusting. Anyway. We thought they were hilarious and started hanging out with them on the beach and at the bar in the evening after dinner. About a day later, they told us that they were actually getting married on the island and wanted us to be the witnesses. Of course, Dono and I jumped at the chance. On their wedding day, we helped each of them get ready, and stood behind them as they recited their vows. It was such a beautiful wedding…and hilarious…because we are in ALL of their wedding pictures! Well, come to find out, Sandy and Ray moved to DFW shortly after the wedding. We had been planning for MONTHS to get together, but between all of our work schedules, it was quite difficult. Last night, we finally got to meet up – a whole year later – for some pizza, wine, and reminiscing.

When we came home, and took all will and might to not break into the cake and champagne!

On Sunday we slept in again, but as soon as we were awake – it was like we were children on Christmas! We didn’t care how early it was, we wanted to dive into the cake. So we did! We snapped a few pics with our cake and champagne before digging in.



We exchanged anniversary gifts, too. We decided when we got married that we wanted to follow the traditional anniversary gift giving because we liked having to put creative thought into the gifts and following the tradition of many others. The first year’s gift is Paper. We both wrote each other heartfelt notes on the PERFECT cards for each other. I gave Donovan a race display bib holder, and he gave me a gift certificate to get a pedicure. Ok, so my gift was not really paper, but its holds paper, so its close enough for me! After our gift exchange we watched our wedding and reception video and looked at all of our wedding pictures. It was so much run to reminisce and talk about the best parts of the wedding day. We also set some goals for ourselves for the future – mainly moving into a house this year!! (I’m very excited about this goal)

Overall, it was a fantastic day together. While we did spend a lot of time doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning like we usually do on Sundays- it was great to take a break in the morning, relax, and remember why we got married in the first place.

What did y’all do on your first anniversaries?

One Year Has FLOWN By!

Y’all. I cannot believe that I have been married for 1 full year! ….well, it will be 1 year on Sunday, but this post is coming a bit early.

Two years ago, Donovan gave me the surprise of my life! He took me to Smoke for dinner for my birthday, and ended up proposing! Little did I know he had also invited our entire families to come and celebrate with us…and ended the night with a surprise birthday party for me…and surprise engagement party for all our friends who came!





It’s hard to believe that the next year of engagement went by so fast, too. As Team Carovan, we planned the wedding together. We ordered invitations, flowers, tasted cake (YUM!), picked music, outfits, and venues. Some aspects of engagement were really tough, but we made it through and are stronger for it.

Then came the wedding day. You can read more in detail about the wedding here — but I’ll just say it was a very magical day. It was everything I hoped for and dreamed for. All of our best friends and family were there to witness us exchange our vows and commitment to one another + tear up the dance floor and celebrate!



It really is crazy to me how quickly the first year of marriage has gone! Everyone says the first year is the hardest…and if that is the case, then we are smooth sailing! Donovan and I don’t really fight anyway, but we have great communication skills. We don’t play mind games with each other, and we let it all out when its necessary. Yes, there are things that bug me about him (you have a lot of dang socks!!!) and I know there are things about me that bug him (I’ll never learn how to use a knife properly) – but they are all little things that we chalk up to quirks.

I’ve learned in this first year of marriage that my husband is not only my best friend, but also my best support team. Sure, my parents and family will be there – but Dono is my one and only. We’re the only people that can really motivate each other to get up and exercise, eat healthy, and do the right thing. We challenge each other daily, make each other laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. Sure, there are lot of hobbies and interests we don’t connect on, and that’s fine. It gives each of us our space when we need it.

This last year we’ve done so many things together it will be difficult to list – but I know that we are planning on many years ahead of us together. This year we are planning to run a half marathon together, and I can only imagine what lies ahead! I can’t wait to take more trips, have children, and purchase and move into our first home together. But for now….let’s just eat that glorious cake 🙂