Thursday, January 31, 2013

Whole30 - Day 30!

Yes! The final day is coming to a close! OMG!

Amazing. I made it 30 days without eating sugar. No desserts. While, I did make some banana muffins (without any sugars), I wouldn't consider them dessert. We actually didn't even eat all of them before they went bad.

I will write up an evaluation post tomorrow, including where things will go from here. At the moment, I'm not really sure. Over the next 24 hours, I'll think about my lifestyle moving forward. As part of the summary post, I will include my updated weight and measurements.

Today, I felt about 70%, which is getting better. I was only about 40% on Tuesday, so I've made huge improvements. I was still pretty darn exhausted this morning. I had every intention of waking up with the 5:30 alarm to ride bike on the trainer. That idea went to the wayside when I realized my body and head craved more sleep. I plan on waking up early tomorrow though. I really need to get back into the workout routine. I'd like to run, but that would involve going to the gym, since it's too dark first thing in the morning to run outside. If I run, I have to bring clothes, shower stuff and breakfast to eat at work. Or I could get to work early and workout during lunchtime. Decisions, decisions.

Breakfast: Egg casserole with tomato and avocado (no avocado in the picture because it wasn't very pretty) and the rest of the banana-blueberry pancakes (I cooked all the batter yesterday so the pancakes were already made). I drank the rest of my lemon water from yesterday (heated up).

Lunch: Leftover chicken pot pie from last night's dinner.

Dinner: Mixed green salad with baked salmon, roasted red bell peppers, carrots, celery, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and roasted cashews. Dressing = lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple and delicious. I drank another mug of warm lemon water. I took a picture of my cute kitty mug, because the lemon water was already gone.

Thursday nights are our favorite night of television. Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Person of Interest, The Office. We have to DVR some of them (usually Person of Interest and The Office). Laughing is fun. I love watching funny shows. It helps take my mind off of everything else. I've had some things on my mind lately and just trying to work through them. I do believe 2013 is going to be an awesome year though. There are lots of cool things to look forward to. I've got to find a healthy balance in life. I'll work on that. I need to be as efficient as possible with my time as well. It'll help me get to where I'd like to be.

Without explaining everything, the above probably doesn't make much sense. In time, it'll make sense. TGIF! See you tomorrow for a Whole30 recap.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Whole30 - Day 29

I'm getting excited! Tomorrow is the 30th and final day. I cannot believe how fast this month has gone by. This last week has been the toughest part of the month since I've been sick. I really need to feel better ASAP. I am feeling better. I am healthy. I'd like to get back to my running and regular routine. I'm a Type-A personality and have a difficult time slowing down. Even when I'm sick, I probably do more than I should. That's just who I am. I like to be productive. I measure productivity in the kitchen by what I make and by checking things off my to-do lists (whether it's work or personal).

I was a little slow moving this morning due to the congestion. I took more medicine (including antibiotic). I opened up the work laptop for a couple hours just to keep on top of things. I have a few reports to run, but will need some assistance from our vendor to get them created. That phone call is on my to-do list tomorrow, along with some User Acceptance Testing in an upgraded system. Hopefully that'll take less than 2 hours, since I have quite a bit to accomplish between tomorrow and Friday. That's what happens when you get sick. It's a part of life. I may have to work a little on Friday night or the weekend to completely catch up. We shall see how productive the next two days are.

Breakfast: Egg casserole with some leftover banana-blueberry pancakes. The main ingredients were bananas, almond flour, coconut flour and eggs. I threw some blueberries into the batter, since there isn't any sugar/sweetener otherwise. I can't say these are the best pancakes in the world, but they tasted good. The blueberries were a good addition.

Lunch: Leftover chicken minestrone soup with crackers. I still need to write up the recipe for the soup.

Dinner: Chicken pot pie with an almond flour crust. I made my own filling with carrots, celery, parsnips, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach and shredded chicken with a cashew-chicken broth sauce. I used this crust recipe and loosely used this sauce, but added my own seasonings to it and used less chicken broth. I need to write up the recipe this weekend. It was fantastic! The crust fell apart a bit when I was transferring it from the counter onto the pot pie mixture, but it still tasted delicious. It would work better in small pieces to top single ramekins.

We are finishing our evening with some frozen bananas blended in the Vitamix. I topped our banana "ice cream" with sliced strawberries and raw cacao nibs. They add a nice crunch. I love my Vitamix.

We're watching the Purdue vs. Indiana basketball game, since Purdue is my alma mater. My beloved Boilermakers aren't looking so hot tonight against the Hoosiers. I still love 'em.

Well, I'm going to relax for a bit longer and then hit the hay early. I'm feeling about 70% tonight, so back to work tomorrow. Here's to hoping I feel 80% or above when I wake up tomorrow.

Whole30 - Day 28

I'm a little late on the post. My apologies to everyone. I've been under the weather since Saturday and have been resting as much as possible. I've been repeating to myself: "I'm young, healthy and strong. I am starting to feel better." I've never been one who takes being sick very well. I usually spiral into a negative tailspin and it's just not a good experience. My husband helped to give me a different perspective and mindset.

When I went to sleep on Monday night, I thought I was feeling better. I packed my gym bag so I could run at the gym before work. I had everything prepared to leave the house early. Well, that plan came crashing down when I awoke to congestion, fatigue, exhaustion and sinus pressure. My body needs time to recover and get rid of whatever this sickness is. I slept until 6:30, ate breakfast and left for work. I thought I was feeling ok enough to handle a workday. Oh, I was in for a rude awakening. After the slip 'n' slide of a drive to the office (it had snowed an inch or two Monday night and the side roads were a layer of ice), I spent a couple hours working. While sitting in my office, I started feeling nauseated and severe pressure in my head/eyes/ears. I just couldn't focus on anything but the pressure. I was constantly blowing my nose. I went home and rested a while on the couch. I decided to eat lunch, which was not an enjoyable experience. I actually felt like I was suffocating while eating, because I could barely breathe. I called the doctor after lunch, because it was just getting to be too much. Luckily, they were able to fit me in. I had a feeling going to the doctor would be a waste of time, but I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. The only positive things that came out of the visit are: I learned I had a fever, I do NOT have the flu and she wrote a prescription for an antibiotic.

That was my day in a nutshell. Oh, what a glamorous life I live.

Breakfast: I ate some egg casserole topped with a diced Roma tomato and bowl of blackberries on the side.

Lunch: Leftover almond butter & strawberry burger with sweet potato fries. So colorful and delicious. Just wish I could have breathed better as I was eating it.

Dinner: Turkey Tacos on Pure Wraps. I cooked the ground turkey with a couple cloves of garlic and seasoned it with chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, dried minced onions, sea salt, pepper and a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes. We topped our tacos with lettuce, tomato, avocado and salsa.

I wanted to blend up frozen bananas in my Vitamix (to make "ice cream") but it didn't happen. We went to pick up my prescription after dinner and by the time we got back, I was feeling completely nauseated. I felt horrible and didn't want to eat anything else at all. I needed to lie down and focus on something other than being sick. We watched an episode of NCIS and it helped get my mind off of things.

I took some medicine last night so I could sleep soundly. I ended up sleeping 9 1/2 to 10 hours. I'm apparently wiped out and needing all of this extra sleep (I typically only sleep 8 hours per night). I might take a short nap in a few minutes.

Hope you're all having a good week!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Whole30 - Day 27

Oh my goodness - I have survived 27 days (technically 28 days) completely sugar free (other than natural sugars found in fruit). That is the longest stretch of time without sugar that I can remember in my 28 years on this planet. I very rarely went a day without sugar. Even on Paleo, I would make dishes with honey or maple syrup (breakfast N'Oatmeals, waffles, pancakes, etc). I've always loved baking, so I would regularly bake Paleo cookies, granolas, cookie bars, etc. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I will bake Paleo goodies after this Whole30 is over. Will I make something sweet every week? No. I might bake something every other week. Even then, I will share with our neighbors and/or coworkers so we don't eat them all (because I will). 

I was home sick from work today, due to the sore throat and sinus issues I've been having since Saturday. This has nothing to do with the Paleo Lifestyle or the Whole30. In fact, this is the first time I've felt sick since converting to Paleo last June. I strongly attribute this to my severe allergies. I've been going through immunotherapy (a.k.a. allergy shots) for the last 5 weeks and haven't been able to take my nasal spray since then. It was a perfect storm inside my sinuses. 

So, my day off was pretty relaxing. I didn't really nap, but I did lie around for a while. I also sat in my recliner for a bit, browsing Pinterest and watching House Hunters International (love that show!). I did log in to my work computer for a few minutes around lunchtime. I wanted to see the damage in my inbox - 53 messages. I got through most of the emails and then logged out for the day. 

Breakfast: Baked egg casserole with a little bit of (not-so-pretty) avocado on top and a grapefruit. Yum! My favorite part was the grapefruit. 

Lunch: Leftover minestrone soup with crackers

Dinner: I switched my menu a little and decided to make the almond butter and strawberry burgers tonight, since I had some time to cut up my sweet potatoes (technically, they're yams) for baked fries. I followed this recipe for the burgers minus the green onions on top. I also subbed the Sunbutter for Almond Butter. If you remember, I made this recipe on my first day of Whole30, except with blackberries. I prefer the strawberries, but both are delicious. 

I love burgers. I think they may be one of my favorite foods. Burgers are so versatile. You can use a variety of meats, add mix-ins (such as veggies, garlic, seasonings, chilies, eggs, nutritional yeast, almond flour), cook them in different ways and add various toppings. We don't have a BBQ grill readily available, so I cook my burgers inside on the stove. 

Question: What is your favorite way to eat a burger? Do you have any crazy and delicious combinations? 

Whole30 - Day 26

Happy Monday morning! 

I am sitting here at home, still under the weather. I'm afraid my throat is still sore, but I don't feel the soreness as much because 1) I have gotten used to it and/or 2) My throat is coated with a layer of mucus. Yes, I know, too much information. I feel like my chest is heavy, yet I don't feel stuffiness when I take deep breaths. I'm not sure what the deal is. I've done a sinus rinse two days in a row now. Yes, I took the plunge. I was hesitant, even though my allergy doctor gave me one to test out. Looks like I'll need to go to the drug store to buy more of the saline packets. I did the saline rinse last night before bed. Bad idea! I was lying in bed and could barely breathe because of the drainage. It was going down my throat and into my nostrils. That's fun. I lied there for over an hour trying to sleep. Thank goodness for giant handkerchiefs to get you through the night. I'm certain it's my sinuses at this point. My head and ears are definitely feeling clogged. I really hope this improves today. 

So, it seems like when a woman is sick, she still does chores/cooks. I had food prep that needed to get done, so I spent time in the kitchen in the morning. I accomplished a lot, but it definitely didn't help the cause. I probably tired myself out even more. I cleaned and chopped veggies, made a breakfast casserole for the week and cooked a whole chicken in the Crock Pot. The chicken was so easy. I sliced one onion for the bottom. Next time, I will include carrots and celery too. I put the whole chicken on the onions and seasoned it with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried onions. It cooked for 5 hours on high. The chicken just fell off the bones when I took it out. I saved the bones and cooking liquid to make chicken broth for the chicken minestrone soup (last night's dinner). Yum! 

Midday, I took a break to run with my husband. I read online that running can sometimes be a positive thing. I actually ended up running really slowly and only did 3.6 miles (my husband did 10.8!). I had very little energy in my body. I was happy to finish one neighborhood loop. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time before my half marathon, so I feel like I'm up against a wall. It looks like my weekend long runs will be longer than scheduled, just to get myself ready in time. I've run nine (maybe more) stand-alone half marathons and two half marathons as part of Ironman 70.3 races. My body will remember when race day comes, but I would prefer to be conditioned properly. 

Wow, I'm exhausted just reading that. By spending a few extra minutes on the weekend to prep for the week, it saves a huge amount of time when getting home from work and trying to get dinner on the table at a reasonable time. 

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with sliced beef hot dogs, zucchini, mushrooms and red bell peppers with diced avocado on top and a Pure Wrap on the side. I love making little breakfast tacos out of the Pure Wraps. I sipped on some Cranberry Kombucha throughout the morning. I was hoping the probiotics would help me. 

Lunch: I'm so happy for leftovers. We had beef stew from a few days ago. I did cook up some cauliflower (very small pieces) in a bit of coconut oil. I got distracted, so it didn't get stirred enough and burned a bit. It still tasted fine, but that's the black specks you see in the beef stew. We also ate our leftover Paleo "Corn" Bread

Dinner: I put together some chicken minestrone soup. It was inspired by Mmm...Coffee's minestrone soup that we ate on Thursday. I've made vegetarian minestrone (with beans) in my Pre-Paleo days and loved it. After the inspiration from Jami at Mmm...Coffee, I knew it couldn't be hard to put together a Paleo version. Recipe will be posted later (post-Whole30). While the soup was cooking, I made another batch of Paleo crackers. We ate a bit of freshly-cut pineapple on the side (they were on sale for $1 each last week!). The pineapple was quite sweet and a perfect ending to the meal. 

I'm hoping to get back on track and post today's meals before going to bed tonight. Hope you're all having a good start to your week. 

Question: Can you believe it's almost February?! Where did the time go? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Whole30 - Day 25, Weekly Meal Plan and My Basic Paleo Chili

Hey everyone! My apologies for the delay. I came down with a sore throat yesterday afternoon and ended up lying down for bed at about 6:45pm. I skipped dinner (we ate a late lunch). I didn't sleep right away, but when I finally did, I slept for 11 hours straight. 

Yesterday morning was spent meal planning and grocery shopping. Here's our meal plan for the week.

Breakfasts each day: Baked egg casserole with zucchini, red bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach and natural chicken hot dogs (I can't find sugar free sausage and US Wellness Meats is out of stock). May supplement with grapefruit or berries and avocado.
Sunday night: Chicken minestrone soup
Monday night: Paleo tacos served inside of Pure Coconut Wraps (grass-fed ground beef, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and salsa.
Tuesday night: Almond butter and strawberry burgers (grass-fed ground beef) on green leaf lettuce with baked sweet potato fries.
Wednesday night: Chicken pot pie casserole (onion, garlic, parsnips, carrots, celery, mushrooms, spinach, cashew and chicken broth sauce with an almond flour crust on top). 
Thursday night: Mixed green salad with carrots, baked salmon, avocado, roasted red peppers, celery and lemon-olive oil dressing. 
Friday night: Day 31 - will we stick to Whole30/Paleo meals or will we indulge in a "cheat" meal? We shall see. We have had Indian food on the mind lately. 

Here's what I ate yesterday... it wasn't a lot since I skipped a meal completely. 
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Omelette with leftover sauteed veggies (onions, bell peppers, mushrooms) and avocado. The omelette didn't turn out very pretty... it didn't flip like I thought it would. It probably would have cooked better under the broiler than trying to flip it. 

Lunch: I made my Basic Paleo Chili (recipe below), served with diced grass-fed beef hot dogs and Paleo "corn" bread. It's made out of ground plantain chips... which I snacked on while making it. 

Evening snack: One orange for the Vitamin C. 

After eating the orange, I ended up gargling some lovely salt water. Yummy. I needed something to relieve some of the soreness in my throat. 

So, you're curious about the Paleo Chili? I threw this together last month and had to nail down the ingredients this time around.  

Basic Paleo Chili
3-4 servings
Rating: 10 clubs

1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
2 T. chili powder
1 ½ t. cumin
1 ½ t. paprika
1 t. oregano
1 t. dried parsley
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
¼ cup chicken or beef broth

Heat a skillet or sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When the ground beef is almost fully cooked, stir in the chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño. Cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spices. Mix well to combine. Add the broth, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir everything together. I added a half can of water to thin it out a bit. (I was able to get more of the tomato sauce out of the can by doing so.) This is completely optional. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I like to serve our chili with Applegate’s Organic All-Beef Hot Dogs and Skillet Plantain Bread (Paleo version of cornbread). 

Enjoy! I'm off to heat up some beef stew for lunch and take a long hot shower. Here's to hoping I kick this sore throat and fatigue very soon!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Whole30 - Day 24

If you read my previous post, then you know I wrote it this morning. It took a little longer than anticipated, so I rushed to make breakfast and get to work.

Today was rather uneventful. I took a break to run on the treadmill during lunchtime. I wanted to get in some speedwork. I didn't up the pace as much as I should have, but it was a good variation from the norm. I ran a half-mile warm-up, 8x200m (ranging from 7.7-8.2mph) with equal jogging in between (7.0 mph) and then ended up finishing strong to 3.1 miles. Finished the 5k in 24:59. I decided to continue, so I increased the incline to 2.0 and ran at 6.1-6.4mph until I hit 3.5 miles. I finished up with 100 squats and 50 sit-ups (will finish the rest after I post this).

I had to stop by the grocery store on the way home to pick up some food for dinner. This afternoon, I decided I wanted to make some Paleo pancakes w/ strawberry puree, veggies, meat and eggs. I'll probably make some quick Paleo chili tomorrow, so I bought some ingredients for that. I wrote the basic recipe and will finish it up tomorrow, so I can share it with you.

Breakfast: Bowl of blackberries. Green bell pepper, sliced beef hot dog, tomato and two scrambled eggs. Pure Wrap on the side.
Lunch: A bowl of Zesty Beef Stew from Mmm...Coffee (we bought extra soup last night), plantain chips, two diced kiwis and a banana. A little after lunch, I ate some dried mango and a Pecan Pie Larabar. I ate my soup and fruit too quickly to get a picture. After eating, I realized I forgot to take a picture. Oops!
Dinner: As I mentioned above, I wanted Paleo pancakes. Really, I just wanted breakfast for dinner. It sounded good this afternoon. I made these banana pancakes since I had ripe bananas. I pureed some strawberries in my Magic Bullet. I had assorted bell peppers, so I diced those along with an onion. I cooked them in a little olive oil. After they cooked down, I added a package of sliced mushrooms. In another pan, I cooked up some beef hot dogs and then fried the eggs in coconut oil. The pancakes were decent. I think they would have been better with more almond flour and one less egg. Overall, it was a tasty meal and satisfied my breakfast desires.

We're watching "Ocean's Thirteen" on TV. I'll probably get to bed at a reasonable time. I'm feeling a little irritable and tired tonight. If I'm not a happy/positive person, the best place for me to be is lying in my bed. I've already decided on a couple meals for the week, so I'll have to pick a few more. I plan on making a chicken minestrone soup (recreate the soup we ate at Mmm...Coffee). I also would like to make Paleo tacos and some type of burgers (on mixed greens or spinach). I think a chicken pot pie casserole would be a tasty treat. It's supposed to get chilly on Monday and Tuesday, so that would be a perfect dish.

Question of the day: Do you plan out your meals? Do you have a unique way of displaying the menu? Chalk board? I would love to display my menu in a creative way, but our kitchen doesn't really lend itself to putting a board on the wall (don't have any open walls). Also, our refrigerator isn't magnetic (it's stainless steel), so anything magnetic is out.

Whole30 - Day 23

Am I really finished with Day 23? That felt strange typing '23' and yet it's rewarding knowing I only have one more week. Yesterday was the first day I had a true desire for something outside of the parameters. It may be the cumulative effect of pinning mostly Paleo desserts. Plus, as I grabbed my fresh undipped fruit from the Edible Arrangement a coworker sent to our team, the scent of chocolate was wafting through the air directly into my nose. Seriously, chocolate?! It was easy to resist, but that scent was just so overpowering. It may also be the fact that I looked at the poster hanging up in my office with Big Fat Cupcake's menu. I had the desire to eat something with carbs. Something sweet. Something like cake, cupcakes, brownies and even Paleo granola. I think today may be a good day for a Larabar to curb those feelings.

I slept in until 6:15 yesterday morning. I decided to do my squats, push-ups and half of my sit-ups as I made breakfast. I love multitasking. I left a bit early for work so I could drive my car through the car wash. It seems like the lines are so ridiculously long in the afternoons. I have no interest waiting for 30+ minutes to wash my car. Mornings are nice. No one thinks of washing their car in the morning. I drove right into the bay for the 7-minute super wash. Clean Beemer. She is very happy now.

Yesterday was a productive day at the office. I was busy until midday and only had a chance to take a 10-minute break to soak in some sunshine. Oh, how I missed the sun. Yes, we only had one day of overcast, but that's still unusual for Colorado. I had a 3-hour webinar in the afternoon and was very productive during that time period. I was excited to get some things organized more to my liking. I've been in my position for 7 months now and it has taken me this long to realize I need to change some of the organization. I hate having clutter on my desk, so I'm trying to find ways to file things away into drawers and keep the desk clean.

My husband and I had a date night last night. We went to Mmm...Coffee for dinner before heading to the Avalanche vs. Blue Jackets hockey game. We had some prime seats - Row 15 behind the Avs goal. We did get to see some incredible fights. We were cheering for the Columbus Blue Jackets as we lived in Cbus prior to moving here. The Avs came out too strong and the Blue Jackets just couldn't hang on. Thank you to my husband's work for providing us the tickets!

Breakfast: Leftover biscuit cut in half with a beef hot dog, mushrooms and bell peppers, two eggs and diced avocado on top. I had a little glass of strawberry banana juice/smoothie.
AM Snack: I resisted the temptation of the Edible Arrangement and only ate a few pieces of plain fruit. The pineapple tasted amazing! 
Lunch: Leftover cod fish nuggets with mixed greens, tomato and lemon-olive oil dressing. I also ate some pureed cauliflower and the last of the crackers

 Dinner: Bowl of chicken minestrone soup with a kale-apple-sunflower seed salad (simple balsamic and olive oil dressing). Love Mmm...Coffee. They treat us so well.

So that was my Thursday... must get moving so I can eat and head to the office. Happy Friday everyone! TGIF! It's my favorite day of the week again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whole30 - Day 22

I'm in the home stretch! I'm looking forward to having a little more flexibility with my Paleo Lifestyle when this is complete. Don't get me wrong, I will still follow a Whole30 concept for a good portion of every month. My husband and I just talked about this yesterday. We will probably do a Whole30 every 6 months or so. It's a great way to cleanse the body.

I woke up to the 5:30 alarm and halfway slept until 6:15. I already planned on running during lunchtime today since it was supposed to be warm. After getting out of bed, I did my squats and push-ups while making breakfast. Work wasn't as hectic today, so I did have the chance to go out and run as planned. I ran about 34 minutes outside. No 67 degrees. No sunshine either. It was maybe 50 or 55 degrees and thick overcast. Good thing I didn't pack a tank top. I did warm up after a few minutes of running though. I decided to go into the fitness room to run some faster spurts on the treadmill. I got in 4.5-5 miles of running in today, which is solid for mid-week. After work, I headed to the allergy specialist to get another set of shots. I'm only going twice per week, so I won't be going back until Monday.

Breakfast: I cooked up a zucchini, mushrooms, tomato and turkey hot dogs with a couple scrambled eggs. I also had a Pure Wrap on the side.
Lunch: Leftover beef stew with avocado, a biscuit and handful of crackers.
Dinner: I made homemade fish nuggets by cutting up a couple cod fillets, dipping them in egg and then in a seasoned almond meal. I cooked them in a skillet with olive and grapeseed oils. On the side, we ate pureed cauliflower and broccoli slaw mixed with a little Lemonaise.

I'm pretty spent tonight. The allergy shots probably have something to do with my sleepiness. Tomorrow night, I won't be cooking! We're going to eat dinner at Mmm...Coffee and watch a hockey game. It'll be a blast! Mmm...Coffee is a Paleo coffeeshop in Denver. They serve salads, soups, treats and assorted beverages. If you're a coffee drinker, they have coconut milk and almond milk. We love it!

Question: Do you go out during the work week? Or do you wait until the weekends? We typically wait until the weekend since we wake up so early.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whole30 - Day 21

21 days to break a bad habit or set a good habit. I'm on day 21. I'm not gonna lie - a huge piece of chocolate cake brownie with buttercream frosting sounds pretty good. I'm not craving it, but I have thought about it. What is stopping me? Well, I'm still on Whole30, silly! There are Paleo versions of brownies that are pretty good and I could enjoy following the 30 days. I'm just not sure I want to ruin such a good thing. I've conquered my sugar addiction and know I will end up eating sugar (in the form of honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar) in the future, but want to limit it the best I can. I want to spend my sugar allowance on something really phenomenal.

Today was a rough day. I woke up to the 5:30 alarm and managed to get myself out of bed within a few minutes. I put on my cycling clothes and headed to the basement for an early morning workout. I did 3x15min segments of cycling with jumping rope, squats, sit-ups and push-ups in between. It felt pretty good and was the best part of my day (up until I got home from work). I worked for 8+ hours straight and was on the phone with our payroll service provider for a good portion of my day. I just couldn't figure out a specific issue. At least the customer service rep was a nice girl. We were on the phone for quite a while. Our names are almost identical (first and last) and we are the same age. Good conversation. Everyone needs some conversation. Next time you talk to a customer service rep, ask where they are. They'll usually tell you. You may have a connection with that location and it'll start a conversation while they're helping you. 

Breakfast: 2-egg omelette with mushrooms, green bell peppers, sliced turkey hot dogs and a smear of cashew "alfredo" sauce. There was a little bit of banana pancake batter left, so I cooked those. (I only ate half of them... just wasn't in the mood.) I had a small glass of strawberry-banana juice on the side. I couldn't get a good picture of the juice, but you can find it here

Lunch: Leftover pork chop, roasted zucchini/yellow squash and an apple with almond butter. I didn't snap a picture because I was rushed to eat while on hold. It was a crazy day. 

Dinner: Crockpot Beef Stew - my own creation. I chopped all the veggies on Sunday and put everything together this morning. I'll write up the recipe this weekend. Here's a summary of ingredients: onions, garlic, carrots, parsnips, celery, beef roast (grass-fed), tomato paste, combo of veggie and chicken broth, thyme, basil, oregano, sea salt and pepper. I did coat the roast with coconut flour and then browned it in a frying pan with a little coconut oil. I cooked everything on low for 8 hours and then shredded the beef. It would have tasted good with diced tomatoes as well. In addition to the stew, we ate some crackers. I also made these biscuits using coconut oil. We were going to eat the biscuits along with the soup, but ended up saving them for dessert. I pureed some blackberries in my Magic Bullet and poured it over our biscuits. Yum! 

I would have to say the biscuits were the best food I ate today. Perfectly flaky. We have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, so I'm already looking forward to that. 

Question: What was the best thing you ate today? 

Well, I'm ready to hit the hay at 7:30pm. I think it's about time to take my medicine and turn in for the night. By the way, "Big Bang Theory" is probably the funniest show on TV. OMG, I cannot stop laughing. Laughter is good for the soul. Good night!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Whole30 - Day 20

Day 20. This challenge/lifestyle will continue after the 30 days. I may not follow it every single day, but I will definitely follow it regularly and consistently (not sure the frequency yet, but will determine that shortly after the 30 days). I will write an evaluation and determine what the best course of action is moving forward.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Many of you had the day off. My previous employer honored 9 holidays, including MLK Jr. Day. My current employer only honors 7 (no MLK Jr. Day or President's Day). Luckily though, my husband and I both slept until 6:30am. It felt wonderful to get extra sleep. My husband had a delayed start to his day, so no 5:30 alarm! I did make us breakfast before we both left for work.

It's another payroll week, so it was a busy day. I took a walking break midday to soak up some Vitamin D. The warmth of the sun felt amazing. I love warmth. I love the sun. Where could I live that's warm and sunny all year? During my walk, I stumbled upon this video: What If Money Was No Object? It was inspiring. It lit a little fire under me. What would you do with you life if money didn't matter? I would prepare Paleo meals for others, do cooking shows (which we're making a reality this year) and be a personal trainer. I want to help others be healthy and fit.

I downloaded the InstaCollage app on my iPhone. Love it. It also happened to be free. I highly recommend it.

Breakfast: Omelette with mushrooms, green bell peppers, Super Natural Turkey Hot Dogs and a smear of cashew "alfredo" sauce to hold it all together. Bowl of grapefruit.
Lunch: Mixed greens w/ leftover tuna salad and Paleo crackers. New employee onboarding had extra guacamole after their lunch, so I added some Chipotle guacamole to my tuna salad. Yum! 
Dinner: Mustard-marinated Pork Chops, roasted zucchini & yellow squash and apples w/ almond butter. The pork chops tasted amazing. I marinated them for 24 hours. The Dijon mustard and garlic really shined through. That marinade would also pair well with chicken. 
Today was a good food day. I actually thought I looked a bit thinner in the mirror tonight, even though my pants don't feel much looser. This challenge isn't about getting thin though. It's about resetting my taste buds and breaking my sugar addiction. I have broken my sugar addiction, which is pretty incredible. I used to think my day wasn't complete until I had a dessert. Growing up, we always had homemade goodies in the house. My mom was such an amazing cook and baker. She baked pies (with homemade crusts), cookies and cakes. At Christmas time, she would make chocolate candies - chocolate-dipped pretzels, chocolate-dipped peanut butter Ritz Crackers, chocolate-dipped nuts, pralines. OMG! It was sugar overload from Thanksgiving to Christmas every year. 

Tonight is "The Biggest Loser" night on TV. It's rather fitting that I'm talking about breaking my sugar addiction as I watch this show. It's actually pretty amazing the strides these contestants make and how quickly they do. They're changing by the day... getting stronger emotionally, physically and mentally. It's a little like a Whole30 challenge for those of us who don't need to lose weight, but need a little boost. I'm strengthening myself each day.

I still have to do my squats, sit-ups and push-ups. Then I'm off to sleep. Waking up early to ride bike on the trainer and do some Crossfit exercises.