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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Whole 30 Wrap-Up

Sorry guys - you were probably thinking "That's it?  What happened when adding food back in?"

I wasn't as diligent at the very end of the plan.  I did add in dairy only for 2 1/2 days - and I felt perfectly fine (YAY!) so although I understand the fattening agent of dairy (human milk is for human babies to fatten up and get nutrients, and cow's milk is for calves to ... well, you get it), I am happy to say that I have no allergy to it.  And oh my god, it was the BEST broccoli and cheese omelet I have EVER tasted!!  (yeah, I ate half of it before I remembered to take a picture)

Gluten, unfortunately, different story.  My first gluten was and Olga's sandwich & snackers (which I didn't pay attention to, but had soy in it as well).  It wasn't like a felt nauseous or anything, I just didn't feel awesome later that day, and the next day.  I had a little bit of tummy rumbling, and I felt a bit sluggish.  You know what I mean - Nothing in particular was wrong, I just didn't feel great.

I was then getting ready for my annual pool party, so I gave gluten about 2 days as well.  After I started making food, all bets were off.  Gluten, potatoes, beans, corn, mayo, sugar ... it was all there.  So for the party, and then the leftovers last week, I just didn't feel like I did during the plan.  I may take a couple of weeks of no legumes to see how it feels.

So here's the plan:  While I'm not sure that I am ready to go gluten-free, I am making conscious decision to eat LESS gluten.  That I don't need toast with my omelet - fresh fruit instead.  Less pasta in my diet.  I have also talked to people about the best gluten-free bread and pasta.  Im not sure how that works, but Im willing to give it a shot!

Summer is the perfect time for this plan because everything is better on the grill - I love grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, baked sweet potato, all done on the grill.  Try grilled shrimp, chicken, steak, and almost any veggies.  As you can see, I tried grilled strawberries and cherries.  Ehhh.  I like them fresh and cold better.  I also loved steamed veggies.

Also, mix any veggies you have in the house with eggs for a great mix - this was onion, tomato, shredded carrot, and zucchini.

I will finish up with my first "dessert" food after my Whole 30 plan.  If you are ever in the Ferndale, MI, area, you HAVE to stop in at Treat Dreams.  I tried the blueberry riesling, and the strawberry cheesecake, before deciding on this decadent dark chocolate with cinnamon and chipotle.  So good, and my tongue was kind of on fire.  YUM!

All in all, I have heard so many times "You've really slimmed down", "Your skin is glowing", "You look great!" .... so that kind of makes it worth it.  And now I know what I'm in for if I ever decide to do it again - I know how to shop, and what to make.  If anyone else wants to piggy-back on my new knowledge, let me know!


Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Whole 30 Complete

I did it!  It's complete!  I went 30 days without sugar, dairy, alcohol, gluten, bread, corn, beans, or anything processed.

I promised that I would be honest so here it is:  I don't feel hands-down awesome like I thought I would.  I thought I was going to have a ton of energy, a ton of weight loss, and a big smile on my face. Maybe I was expecting too much.  I am sleeping better, and I have lost a bit of weight.  Granted, I wasn't a die-hard participant, but I just couldn't beat myself up over the little things.  I did have commercial ketchup when necessary (and organic sugar-free at home), I did eat peanut butter through most of the month, and maybe that was part of sensitivity and I screwed it up (I've decided that after adding all foods back in one at a time, I will do a stint of 30 days without ALL legumes, to see if they are an issue for me).  I also used bottled salad dressing, which is sugar and processed.

I will be honest that I accidentally cheated a few days ago - I bought "coconut bliss" dairy-free ice cream, because I was having one hell of a sweets craving (men-block your eyes .... Women-I was on my period, and I know all of you know what I'm talking about!). So I scanned the ingredients.  Coconut milk, cocoa powder, very few others.  Cool! I ate about a quarter of the pint and it was gooooood.  There was a little something missing in the aftertaste, and I think it's because the coconut milk doesn't coat your tongue like dairy does.  So as I'm putting it away, I glance at the ingredients again - agave.  Damn!  I wasn't supposed to have any sugar, sucrolose, honey, agave, stevia- nothing.  And I did feel crappy the next couple of days, but I think it may be a coincidence.  Could that little amount really set me off like that?

My super trying nails are also now weak again and breaking - could also be a time of month thing.

And to finish off the 30 days, I had a celebratory meal with my friends Katy & Jason, and my brother Seabrook:  King crab legs with melted clarified butter, and a big green salad with kale and parsley out of my garden.  Holy cow - what a way to graduate!  And wouldn't you know it - I was so excited to eat that I forgot to take a picture!

It was hard, but I did it!  Here are a few tips:

- Always be prepared - make lunches the night before - always make enough for leftovers - sometimes you just don't feel like cooking
- You won't always be hungry like you think you will.  These foods keep you way more full.
- Soda water with fresh lime makes a pretty good cocktail
- Tell people about what you're doing - they will be less likely to say "just one bite?"
- When you're sick of a type of food (for me it was eggs), try to change it up.  Add some new herbs or spices (towards the end I added curry powder to my eggs and cooked with red pepper and apples)
- Be strong - each craving will pass!  Sweets craving?  Eat some pineapple or watermelon.  Chocolate craving?  Have a banana smoothie with coconut milk and cocoa powder (make sure you get it from a health-type grocery store and that it doesn't have any added sugar)
- Don't beat yourself up if you found out you ate something off of your list (like in condiments).  You can only do your best!
- There are snacks you can have on hand.  Make sweet potato chips or see the pics below: cinnamon apple chips or freeze dried veggie chips.  You can also have dried fruit and veggies.
- Coconut aminos are a good substitute for soy sauce (buy at health food store).
- Don't try to fool your body and have simulations of the foods you can't eat.
- There is way more that you can eat than you think you can (see bottom of page).

Oysters in Pittsburgh with my brother, Seabrook,  & my sister's boyfriend, Josh

Tuna salad w/ extra veggies - celery, radish, & zucchini
Thai grilled chicken with thai cuc & radish salad + watermelon

Snacks you CAN have!  Cinnamon apple chips or freeze dried veggie chips

For your Whole 30, REMEMBER, You can make:
grilled chicken, poached chicken, chicken soup (no noodles), steak on the grill, grilled shrimp, shrimp scampi, pulled pork, beef roast with onions, carrots, and cabbage, grilled fish, sautéed fish, baked fish, steak, chicken, or shrimp stir fry, meatloaf (no oats or breadcrumbs), guacamole, almond butter on celery, freeze dried fruit, fruit smoothies (no milk), hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, poached eggs, veggie egg scramble, sweet potato hash, local sausage & bacon, fruit, tuna salad w/ homemade olive oil mayo, eggs salad w/ oo mayo, chili (no beans), lettuce tacos, burgers (no bun), chicken sate, zucchini "pasta" with marinara or pesto, salad / grilled chicken, strawberries & pecans, ham or turkey sub on lettuce wrap ... And much more!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Yard Sales

Spring and summer are definitely the time for yard sales (garage, tag, rummage).  I wish I had the time and motivation to have one myself!  Its a great feeling to not only make a few bucks, but to also know that someone else can make use of something that has been sitting lonely and useless on your shelf.

My sister is an avid "saler" the Washington DC area and shared some sites with me (for all states):

Here are some of her recent finds.  Send me pictures of what you find!  I encourage everyone to recycle by shopping yard sales!  Its the incredible deals that will keep you coming back for more!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 24

This is it!  Im in the home stretch!  Including today, 7 days to go!  Whew.  Im home.  Back to my own fridge, stove, preparation, home-cooked meals.  Don't get me wrong - I had a BLAST in DC, but its hard to not be able to be prepared for each meal.  And plus, all that really good tempting food are not in my house, so that makes it easier as well.  So traveling on the Whole 30 Plan - Possible!  (Im proof) - but not recommended.  I'll be honest.  I had several weak moments that I thought "just a taste - why can't I have that anyway?"  But in the end, I stuck to my plan, and I have no guilty feelings.

I did go out to dinner, and it seems that a beautiful steak with grilled onions is my go-to restaurant meal.  I haven't been disappointed yet.

And this week is "get back to business week" - the last week should be a good one, so I'm going to check into my Pinterest board aptly named "Whole 30" (you can look here), and try to make more of the recipes from my list.

Im also running the Mud Factor run next Saturday with my friend Katy, so yeah, I should probably ATTEMPT to run every day (I am still in the walk 2, run 1 phase).  Wish me luck and encouragement on the training forefront.

Hey guess what.  No cupcakes in this girl's tummy!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

I'm sure you're getting sick of seeing my veggie egg scrambles with fruit ...
Taco salad - taco meat with grilled onions & peppers - fresh cold, crisp veggies on top.  -----------------------Here is the blended frozen bananas with pistachios & blueberries - holy YUM!

Fancy graduation dinner.  Lots of tempting choices.  I had chicken satay as an appetizer, and a perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned filet mignon with roasted asparagus & steamed broccoli (instead of garlic mashed potatoes).        -------------------------- Mini desserts of all flavors were served at the end - I had this lovely fresh fruit in a shot glass.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 22

Ok everyone, I'm feeling great!  I am not waking up in the middle of the night, I am being told I look slim, that my skin is glowing, and that my eyes are brighter.  I would like to say I have more energy, but frankly I haven't been getting my 8 hours of sleep, so I only have myself to blame.  I also have not been exercising at all (ok summer hockey is in season, but I don't count that).  I wish I would have been better about that because I feel like I would have seen some huge changes.

What do you think?  Can I still add that in and have a bikini-ready body by pool party time?

I am now in Washington DC for my little brother, Khyler's, high school graduation.  I wasn't prepared for breakfast before my flight, so I had three bananas in the car and airport to hold me over.  Surprisingly, it worked!  Because there was nooooothing for me to eat at the airport except for overpriced whole fruit.

Now that I'm here, I'm sticking to the plan.  My sister Sony, her boyfriend Josh, and I, went kayaking on the Potomac - super fun!  

We had BBQ yesterday, which was really good.  I also made stovetop popcorn for everyone.  Then it was pointed out to me that it's corn, which is not on the approved list.  So is it off plan?  My thinking is that I can't have corn because of the starch, but the kernel itself does not hold the same properties, so I think it's perfectly fine.  It better be, because I already realized my mistake on peanut butter and had to cut that out!

Today was the grad party, and probably the hardest day yet.  They had it catered by Baja fresh, which all looks amazing.  And besides the tortillas, chips, and cheese, there is a lot for me to eat!  I grabbed a piece of lettuce and made a huge burrito.

BUT I have felt like I'm missing something today.  It could be the amazing spread of chips and salsa,

Or it could be the incredible cupcakes ... As I said before, I don't have much of a sweet tooth normally, but these are killing me!

I can do this!  Resist the cupcakes!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Frozen Banana "ice cream"


I previously posted that my new favorite thing was frozen bananas blended into non-dairy "ice cream". I now have to clarify.  Use fresh or slightly speckled bananas - put in freezer whole, or cut into slices, put on baking sheet and freeze.  When frozen, store in ziplock freezer bags.

I found out last night that the bananas that I let get really brown and put in the freezer for banana bread (makes it really sweet and yummy) do NOT work for banana ice cream.  It had a really off taste.

I have also been told that you can add peanut butter, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, pumpkin (or pumpkin pie mix), or curry!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 16

Whole 30 Plan - Day 16 - WOO HOO!

I had every intention on writing on day 15, but we had a 2 big shows at Bloomfield Gymnastics yesterday (which went splendidly), and I just didn't have the energy to write the second blog last night.

So I am over the hump 
50% completed  
Moving towards the finish line

And I have to say - I feel great!  Yes, it's still a struggle to find things to eat.  I'm back to eating eggs - scrambled with various veggies and sausage each morning.  Also, last night I went out to dinner to the Moose Preserve, which hasn't happened many times during this program.  I only found a few options, and had to pick one.  I chose "naked & fit chicken" - charbroiled chicken breast with grilled onions a double side of veggies.  (see pic) The veggies were really good.  I also have a new appreciation for soda water with fresh lime.  The spinach artichoke dip looked yummy, but I resisted.  I'm getting a lot of people saying "just one bite" or "just one sip of beer" ... but other than unavoidable sugars (ketchup at a restaurant), I'm sticking to the plan!

On a great note, I am really starting to feel the difference.  My pants are fitting better.  Part of the program is to not weigh yourself, but I don't anyway, so I would have no starting point.  I'm sleeping a lot better (other than the crazy itchy bug bite - see previous post).  I am not having my 4am protein cravings that usually got my out of bed for a Babybel cheese and 4 Triscuits.

I had noticed my fingernails had gotten really weak.  They were easily bendable, and they split easily.  I am now noticing longer nails, and they are very strong.

Mood:  While my friend Donna, and the other coaches at Bloomfield Gymnastics may not agree with this statement, I really have been in a better mood the last couple of days.  The show yesterday was very stressful, so that may have come through, and Thursday I was crabby because I was trying to pull everything together, and it was also the last remnants of my healing crisis.  So yes, I think I do have improved mood.  Whether it is the food, or the weather, or what part of my cycle I'm in.  Who knows!

Are you thinking about trying the Whole 30 plan yet?


Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Eureka! No more itching!

I will start by saying, I promise to report on the Whole30 progress tomorrow ...


I am allergic to bug bites.  I know - isn't the itching and welts for all of us our Immune systems fighting the insect venom?  Technically, yes, but I am REALLY affected by them.  I don't just get a welt, I get a huge welt.  The itching wakes me up in the middle of the night.  I carry around Afterbite in my purse in the summer because the itching would literally affect my day if I didn't.  It's really bad.  And when I have no remedies, it like being hooked on crack.  I can't help myself.  I HAVE to itch, which takes some skin off, then it looks nasty, then I have to have bacitracin on it, and sometimes it scars (I have white circles on my ankles from a particularly bad summer.)

And bugs love the taste of me.  If there is one mosquito in a room of 100 people, I guarantee he bites me.  (Yes I assume all the jerky biting Mosquitos are male).  Frankly I have no idea how my mom had me outside all the time as a kid.

But I found something!  This week I had a bad bite on the side of my foot (terrible spot) and one on the BOTTOM of my third pinkie toe (even worse spot) - I'm pretty sure they were spider bites, but it's irrelevant - they itched like hell.  So I was googling "spider bite itch relief" and EUREKA!  This is what I found:

"Some of the proponents of heat therapy for itches recommend using very hot water, not so hot as to burn the skin, but just a little cooler than this. Others swear by hair dryers. They recommending pointing a hair dryer at an itchy spot for several seconds or minutes. The skin should become uncomfortably hot, but not anywhere near being burned. After this heating of the skin happens, the itch is supposed to go away.  Many people testified that applying significant heat to an itch for a short amount of time made the itch disappear for several hours, maybe even longer."

So I got out my hair dryer (to be honest, I never saw the hot water idea until I just copied the text), and turned it on.  No, it didn't feel great, but I tried to get it as hot (close) as possible without actually burning my skin, as suggested.  It actually felt itchy for a second, and I kept at it for about 15 seconds at each spot, but when I turned off the blow dryer and let my skin cool down, IT WORKED!  I stayed itch-free for 6-8 hours!

Just wanted to share with all you other bug-bite haters out there.

Peace.  Love.  Serene.