Tag Archive | clean eating

Another Round of Whole 30! – Day 1

Happy Monday after DST, friends! Am I the only one who feels so lethargic today? Nope? Just me? Anytime the time changes, I get all out of a rut. Dono and I slept until almost 11am yesterday morning and had no concept of time all day.

Since my surgery, I’ve been complaining about wanting to get back on a good schedule of exercising and eating right again. Last week, Dono and I went to Florida for our spring vacation — which was wonderful! We spent a lot of time walking on the beach, sleeping in, and sitting in the hot tub…not to mention eating a lot of fried foods!

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I’m not a particular fan of seafood or fish of any kind (i tell everyone I’m allergic even though I’m not) so whenever we go somewhere coastal, I always end up ordering a lot of chicken + a lot of food from the kids menu, since most of the seafood places we frequent don’t serve protein other than fish or seafood. So, this coupled with a lot of beer and fun tropical drinks have made me crave veggies again.

Last summer I started the Whole 30 but never finished it. I went on a weekend girls trip with my mom and ruined it as soon as I saw the fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Now that my surgery and spring break is over, I don’t have any excuses, trips, or special occasions for the next 30 days. (You can read about my previous Whole 30 attempts HERE, HERE, and HERE, and HERE.

I’m ready to start this process over again, and I think I’ll be successful! Here’s what I had to eat today (Day 1)

Breakfast: Strawberry, Banana, Spinach, Kale Smoothie (included flaxseed)

Lunch: mini meatloaves and mashed potatoes (i needed a veggie, but didn’t have any on hand as I wasn’t very prepared)

Dinner: compliant Taco Bowls

Here’s to another round of Whole 30!

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

dinner

 

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.

breakfast

 

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

whole30

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:

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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.

….And…..GO!

 

Week 10 of Half Marathon Training Complete!

Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

Sorry, peeps, but I don’t have a special graph for you this week. Sad day. I will say, though, that I can’t believe it has already been 10 weeks of training! I feel like I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. It’s been a bit over 2 months, and I’m still struggling to run a mile straight during training (how I ran a full 3.1 I’m still not sure). While I’m still getting out there and training, I’ve trying to focus on eating as clean as I can and getting more fruits and veggies into my diet. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I purchased the Tone It Up Nutritional Plan, and I’m LOVING the recipes they have there! Some of them are a little strange (I’m not ready to eat seaweed yet), but for not having a lot of processed ingredients, the meals sure do have a lot of flavor! I mean, I used to never even put my eyes on a brussel sprout, but now we’re eating them twice a week! If only I could get into good, leafy greens (other than juicing). Y’all have recommendations to eat leafy greens? I’ll get bored of basic salads every day. Fun ways to cook greens and put them in different foods = ideal!

Also – last weekend I bought my first pair of compression sleeves.

compression socks

I bought the CEP compression sleeves from Luke’s Locker in Colleyville. They weren’t too horribly expensive so I was willing to give them a try. Donovan got a pair before me and he was swearing by them, so I figured it couldn’t hurt. Of course I had to buy bright pink to match my shoes! So far, the sleeves are doing okay. I’m not used to how tight they are, so my legs get REALLY hot while I’m walking/running. The sweat also seems to pool at the top of the sleeves which is gross. I’ve also learned that I have to pull them down really low, otherwise there is a gap between my ankle and the sleeve, and my ankles will get swollen because of blood flow. Ugh. May be I should have purchased the full sock/sleeve combo? I do like to wear them after a jog/walk because it does feel good on my aching calf muscles. I’m going to keep trying them, but hopefully can get my legs strong enough where I won’t need them someday.

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Last Saturday it was a beautiful weekend here in DFW. Dono and I went for walk/jog together on Sunday and enjoyed the warmer temps, however, yesterday it was 80 degrees. While it felt great standing still – I’m not used to running in the heat yet. My pace was God-awful slow and my body felt REALLY heavy. It was exhausting just trying to pick one foot up after another. Now that the weather is going to get progressively warmer in the coming months, this is really when I need to focus on training – that way when it cools off in the fall, I’ll be that much more prepared for crazy weather conditions in races.

How do you guys train between the changes of seasons?

Dinner Fail

My recent streak of delicious, healthy dinners has come to a screeching halt. Ugh. I hate when this happens. I get on a roll, and then I get too “experiment-y” and dinner flops. Blerg.

So what was my dinner fail?

Clean-Eating Moroccan Chicken with Cauliflower Rice.

cauliflower rice

I’ve seen so many recipes going around Pinterest for Cauliflower Rice and Cauliflower Pizza Crust that sounded (and looked!) incredible. I found an accompanying recipe that would be “soupy” enough to go over “rice.” The “rice” was easy to make. I literally chopped up a whole head of cauliflower and threw it into the food processor. Cooking it was another story. I read several blogger ideas, and sort of combined my own recipe. I put the cauliflower rice in a skillet with coconut oil and a smidge of salt and garlic powder. I let it heat up, but almost immediately the Cauliflower got lumpy and clumpy and mushy. It was disgusting looking. I figured that may be it would at least taste good with some sauce on top.

moroccan chicken

The Moroccan Chicken? Ugh. I don’t even know. I’m not sure if the seasoning just wasn’t right. Or the combination of vegetables? I won’t even post the recipe, but I’ll let you know that I got it from here.

Definitely won’t be making this dish again.

What was your worst dinner fail?

Clean Eating Challenge

Recently, a bunch of bloggers I follow have just completed the Advocare 24 Day Challenge: Holly, Jennifer, Ashley, and Amber  just to name a few. I was inspired by these ladies to start the challenge, too, however,  my motivation came to a screeching halt when I saw the pricetag for the Advocare 24 day bundle. I’m sorry, but $200 is a lot to spend on vitamins and nutrients.

I thought about this expense and prayed about it for awhile. With my $75 per paycheck that I can use at my discretion, I’d have to save up for 2 months in order to be able to afford the bundle. Then, I wouldn’t be able to do anything else until my “money supply” built back up. Feeling frustrated, I felt like there was a way I could work around this. I’m going to try the 24 day challenge…just without taking the vitamins and supplements. Obviously, the vitamins would be helpful, but I can cook clean for 24 days!

photo 1

I planned out our weekly menu and hit the grocery store. Funny enough – I spent less on healthy, whole foods, than I normally do when I go to the grocery store and buy a lot of processed “cheaper” foods. So – here’s our menu for the week:

Sloppy Joe’s on whole wheat bun
Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
Chicken and Spinach casserole
Moroccan Chicken with Cauliflower Rice
Winter Chicken Bake
Turkey Meatloaf “Cupcakes” with Sweet Potato “Frosting”

I spent all afternoon chopping vegetables and preparing them into gallon sized zip lock bags. This will be really helpful when it comes to be dinner time. All I’ll need to do is take everything out of the zip lock back, add in whatever spices and liquids, and go! Talk about time saver!

Tonight we made Sloppy Joe’s for dinner. By the way – Sloppy Joe’s are hard to photograph and make look appetizing. Example A:

photo 2

I’ll post the recipe for sloppy joe’s later, but I will let you know they were very delicious and filling. Lots of pureed veggies made up the sauce, and I think Dono thought it was a winner dinner, too! Guess we’ll be adding it into the future dinner rotation.

What clean eating meals do you like to eat?

Carb Cycling Day 2 Review – High Carb Day

High carb day is officially my favorite! And…by high carbs…I actually mean….small amount of carbs.

Today’s post is a review of Day 2 (yesterday) of Chris Powell’s carb cycling program. You can read about why I decided to start carb cycling here. You can also read about my Day 1 adventures on low-carb day here.

Thanks to the “high” carbs yesterday, I felt like I had more energy during the day. Here was my schedule of food:

photo 1

Breakfast: Chocolate protein shake, 1 banana, and english muffin with peanut butter

Snack: cottage cheese and a handful of strawberries

Lunch: leftover chicken and quinoa, carrot sticks

Snack: greek yogurt and a handful of granola

Dinner: Turkey burger (without the bun), small sweet potato, 4 strawberries, and broccoli

I also had a Weight Watchers fudge ice cream bar. It was only 100 calories, but I really needed something sweet. Obviously, this was a better choice than 2 bowls of regular ice cream with chocolate sauce.

These turkey burgers I made last night were pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself!

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I sectioned out 8oz of ground turkey (I’ll use the rest later this week for a different meal), mixed it with 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup minced garlic (i LOVE garlic), a sprinkling of salt and pepper and onion powder, and about 2 tablespoons of stir fry sauce for a bit of flavor. I made patties out of them meat mixture, and then cooked 2 – 1 for dinner, and 1 for lunch today and cooked for 5 minutes on each side. These things were DELICIOUS and only about 250 calories per serving — and they were BIG patties , 4oz each.

In review, “high carb” day is my favorite — I ended up eating about 1,700 calories, more than Day 1, but I also went to the gym for a chest, tricep, ab workout and burned about 350 calories. I didn’t feel as lethargic yesterday.

Today is another low-carb day. I feel a bit more prepared for all of the veggies. I went to the store last night and bought some veggie dips (low carb, low fat) for my celery and carrots because eating them raw is just gross. I also got some 100 calorie packs of avocado guacamole to put on top of my salad so it doesn’t taste so bland and crunchy. Things are looking up! Since all my meals are planned out, it’s really easy to get things out of the fridge in the morning to prepare lunches and snacks, and the dinner’s i’m making so far this week have been pretty easy to do and clean up afterwards.

I am bit worried that tonight is spin class, and I’m eating low-carb. I brought some extra Spark to drink beforehand, but I really hope I have enough energy for that. I don’t want to pass out!

Day 2 = success!