Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blog #183: About Face!

When I was last here things were pretty bleak. Every sugary food looked irresistible and all I wanted in life was wine and cheese. I am now proud to say I made it through what I will now refer to as "the darkest timeline" of my food experiment and am on the other side feeling awesome. For those considering giving it a try, beware days 9-13. If we weren't having such wonderful weather that week I don't know how I would have pushed through.
Breakfast every day.

In other news, I've been feeling pretty great for about a week now but haven't had time to update because if I'm not working or sleeping I am in the kitchen either prepping, cooking, cleaning up after cooking/prepping, or eating my food. Or I'm at the grocery store spending all my money on food. To recap, approximately 75% of my waking non work hours are spent in a food related manner. I haven't quite nailed down a way to be efficient while also not boring myself to death. So, that is a thing I will not miss.
All food prep all thr time

Veggie noodles though

Today is DAY TWENTY ONE. That means by the end of the day I will be 3/4 the way done with my challenge! I've officially entered the home stretch. I am sleeping soundly, waking up refreshed, and maintaining consistent energy throughout the day. I have noticed a visual difference in my body and my clothes are fitting better. I have not had any stomach issues. My favorite thing in the world is bananas sprinkled with cinnamon and dipped in salted cashew butter. Nut butters have to be relegated to "post workout only" or I will eat them by the spoonful straight from the jar. The other day someone brought donuts to a morning meeting and they didn't even SOUND good to me. I have not had any real sugar cravings in a week. I did miss having some wine at book club last night, but it didn't take away from my good time.
I want to eat it all

Can't wait to finish this bad boy and check out results. I'm a little disappointed I couldn't find my tape measure before I started because I'm pretty certain I've lost some significant belly fat. We will just have to let pictures do the talking.
Left: day 0 right: day 10
One more thing, I've been doing the p90x kenpo workout because it's easier on my bum ankle and also super fun and as a motivational thing the trainer, Tony, said about one of the participants "Wesley only bleeds on the inside!" It is distracting to me every time because I ALWAYS think "internal bleeding is pretty serious, Tony. Is Wesley ok?". I just wanted to share that with you.
Post kenpo  workout. Hopefully not internally bleeding.

#onemoreweek #bringit

Monday, March 16, 2015

Blog #182: A Monday Drag (whole 28 update)

I have been raving and raving about how I’ve been feeling on this plan and quite honestly, this is the truth.

But today.

Today is hard. Today I miss EVERY FOOD. This is DESPITE the amazing dinner I made myself last night. Just look at it!

And at this moment not even that amazing dinner sounds good to me. You know what sounds good to me? Donuts. Bagels. Pizza. OH GOD PIZZA. BEER. WINE.

Today I woke up easier than I had been, though I had a bit of a headache. I am coming to the end of my groceries (due to shop Friday) and my planned breakfast (2 hard boiled eggs, half an avocado, and a couple clementines) did NOT sound remotely appetizing. I basically choked it down. I packed my planned lunch (also didn’t sound appetizing) and went to work.

Then, in one of our meetings, someone brought these amazing custom donuts from Cosentinos. There was Red Velvet, chocolate chip, giant glazed… THEY LOOKED LIKE THE BEST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN TO ME. I wasn’t hungry but I wanted one of those donuts more than anything. I was still thinking about them an hour later. My black coffee and water chugging were doing nothing to help. I knew better than to cave to the sugar craving with a Larabar – because though it is compliant the motivation for it would not be in the spirit of what I’m trying to do.

Right next to the refrigerator where I get my water and store my lunch, there are currently 2 bags of bagels, a box of peanut butter patties and a box of lemonades (2 of my top 3 girl scout cookie choices). I see them every time I go to fill up my water bottle. They speak to me. They say “Marissa, look! All of your favorite carbs and sugar!”

Today is hard. And I am officially out of eggs.

Luckily it’s a beautiful day and I got to be out in the 80+ degree weather being active and allowing my body to use it’s real fuel instead of a bunch of sugar for my workout before I get back to lead a grief recovery group (and thus get a nice reminder of what’s REALLY hard… because “having” to avoid all the yummy things I want is not really HARD.)

#Ihatemondays #nomoreeggsplease #day9

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blog #181: A day in the life and why am I even doing this?

Hi Friends. At the end of the day today I will be a solid 1 week and 1/4 of the way through my Whole 30 (preshortened to 28 for Easter) challenge.

So, why am I doing this?

Officially: Curiosity, the desire to reset my system from sugar/processed food overload, wanting to feel better and have more consistent energy.

Honestly: I wanted to lose the 5-7lb of winter weight gain so my pants wouldn't be snug anymore.

There, it's out there. Initially 100% of my motivation for this challenge was weight related. It's not like anyone is surprised. I have never had the greatest relationship with weight and body image.


Nearly immediately upon researching and starting the challenge, I realized that it is about SO. MUCH. MORE. And after getting deep into the book I realized that not ONLY is it about more but weight is probably the LEAST important thing I should be focusing on when I am trying to stay motivated. In fact, the way my view of food is changing will probably be the best thing I can get out of this experiment.

So, now, I'm really doing this because my body needs and deserves nourishment and respect. If adding sugars/grains/legumes/dairy on a regular basis doesn't get me closer to that, then I don't want to add them. And, 7 days in, I'm actually feeling really good about it and still sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm NOT starving myself and in fact I'm not even counting calories or worrying about the amount of any of these good foods that I'm eating.

Just to show you how I'm NOT starving, here is a day in the life (I kept track on a notebook yesterday)

Breakfast was 2 eggs scrambled with sliced onions/squash/zucchini and half an apple with sunbutter (sunflower seed butter - like peanut butter without the health downside)
Lunch was a 2 cup salad of spinach and baby greens, carrots, tomato, zucchini and squash, peppers, chicken dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, on the side a hard boiled egg, and 2 clementines
2:30pm: I ate a handful of mixed nuts (almonds/cashews and other tree nuts) and a clementine as a snack so I could have energy for a workout.
Later I went on a little over an hour alternating brisk walk/jog/run (I like to run hard up big hills) and then stopped at the grocery store for some supplies at the end of the workout in a couple hours.
Post workout I had a banana and some sunbutter
An hour later I ate dinner - a grass fed ground beef patty, half a tomato, a ton of green beans sauteed in EVOO.
*Throughout day: at least a gallon of water consumed - this is not on the plan, just a continuation of one of my only good health habits before I started

I haven't had any crazy cravings, heavy fatigue, or any pissiness that were any different than they would have been at the time of month that I chose to start the challenge.

Also, because food choices can be weirdly divisive and sometimes seem like a judgement, please know this: my choices are just simply that - my choices. They are not judgments on your choices and in fact have nothing to do with you. We're all living in a way that makes sense to us and trying to make things work how we can so if you're fine with your choices than so am I (though if you take my choices to be judgment on your choices that tells me that maybe you AREN'T so fine with your choices - I can't help you with that)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blog #180: Whole 28 Day 5

I am finishing up day 5 of my #whole28.  According to the time line on the whole 30 website,  days 2 and 3 were "hangover" days and yesterday & today were supposedly "kill all the things" days. However,  I've experienced very little of either of those things. In fact, aside from an occasional headache and continued difficulty waking up in the morning,  I'm still largely in the day 1 "so what's the big deal?" mode. I am attributing this to 2 things:
1. The genesis of this amazing spring weather
2. My incessant water habit covering a multitude of past diet sins.

I do hope that I'm doing it right. I worry a little that if I don't hate life enough it's not working - thanks, diet culture. "If you don't absolutely want to jump into traffic by day 4 YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG"

Because I am obsessive and ridiculous,  I have purchased the book written by the Whole30 creators and have been soaking it in like a sponge reading about why I'm doing what I'm doing. You guys, it makes so much sense and food effects so much more than how we look or what we weigh or our stomach symptoms AND WHY AREN'T MORE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THIS?  It's so logical and when pointed out and it seems so obvious that it makes me feel like I have basically been jumping up and down with my eyes closed and arms up yelling "I'm not really here!  I'm not really here! " like unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in order to have never had it click for me. (Side note,  if you haven't watched that amazing show on netflix yet I pronounce YOU ridiculous.  Pull yourself together)

I admit that I am fully on board. I'm drinking the Kool-aid.  Well, I'm not drinking kool-aid... that wouldn't be whole 30 compliant.  But I'm drinking the black coffee.  I believe.  I love what I'm eating and I don't feel badly about it after. I really believe I am investing in a healthier,  happier me. And I'm already thinking of how I can make these choices sustainable for the long term once the experiment is over.

But now I'm tired and need to wind down for bed... so maybe my next phase is coming early.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blog #179: Whole 28 Day 1

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

And also the first day of my Whole 28 challenge.

I've totally jumped right into it and had some delicious meals as well as spent considerable time, money, and effort on setting myself up to succeed during my first week.

Today I woke up pretty well rested after having given up any notions of having a night out last night (Hashtag this is 30) I went to Hyvee and spent a solid hour looking closely at ingredients. I made a full big breakfast of  eggs with peppers and onions and a banana and half avocado. I though... I can DO it!  I got all motivated and prepped my meals for the whole week. The. I went to meet my family at Power Play and saw, in bright neon signs "FUNNEL CAKES! NACHOS! PIZZA!" I promptly walked back outside with mom and we ate our whole30 approved Hyvee Salad Bar salads and fruit.

It somehow wasn't the same.

Anyhow feeling good on day 1. Here's what happened:
Grocery defeat = 2 trips

Big breakfast with a side of caffeine

Lunch this week - so many veggies

Thanks Hyvee salad bar

I didn't think I'd be hungry at dinner because I did breakfast and lunch so late but I was so I ate one of my premade dinners of ground turkey with onions,  peppers, zucchini,  and squash and a side of green beans and potatoes.  For dessert I had a single serve baggie of frozen berries. I forgot to take a pic but I made 6 of them so I am sure there will be another chance. 

I may already have a sugar withdrawal headache. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blog #178: I'm (sort of) doing the Whole 30.

I'm doing a 28 day version of the Whole 30 challenge. It's 28 days because I need to be done by Easter and previous engagements prevent me from starting until tomorrow and if I wait until it makes sense to do it for 30 days I won't have another chance until like August and I'm feeling pretty worn down and stomach achey lately so I would rather address it now. I'm going to try to avoid being all over my social media outlets about it by blogging my experience here. So, if you're curious about how things are going or want to read about my experience as it happens, this is the place.

You can read all about the whole 30 at

Today is day 0 for me meaning the challenge starts tomorrow, so, naturally today was ALL BETS OFF. I ate a bagel for breakfast, personal pizza for lunch with cookie dessert, and enjoyed good comfort food birthday party including cupcakes. I've also hit the latte train pretty hard the last couple days because dairy is out starting tomorrow and all my coffee will have to I am usually the girl that puts a fair amount of snickerdoodle flavored creamer and 2-3 splenda packets in the coffee each morning so this is what I foresee to be the hardest part. I'll still need the coffee though, so black it is.

Tonight was supposed to be all about saying goodbye to all the stuff I can't have but after working 7-3, braving an outdoor mall during the first warm day in KC in weeks, and partying HARD toy instrument style with my niece and 4 awesome nephews I am so spent that my last hurrah is a glass of wine and bed before midnight.  I've taken my before pic and weight and I know how my clothes and body feel now so hopefully in 28 days I'll have some tangible evidence of improved health. Wish me luck!