Tag Archives: Healthy eating

Mission Whole30: COMPLETE

I survived, no totally crushed, 30 days of no sugar, dairy, grains, or legumes. That’s no candy, no cheese, no rice, no hummus. And you know what, it really wasn’t that hard. I learned some lessons about my body and about food, but I mostly just feel like a total champion. Most importantly though, I don’t feel the need to reward my success by scarfing down a large pizza or having a bowl of ice cream. For me, that was sort of the whole point.

Despite having lost a significant amount of weight over the last year, I still wanted to eat all the garbage all the time. But now, I feel like a lot of that stuff just isn’t tempting me. Could this change in the next week or month? Yes, and in that case I will do a reset again to remind myself that healthy eating is the best way for me. This is Food Freedom, and I’m currently halfway through Melissa Hartwig’s new book, Food Freedom Forever. It’s a guide to a lifetime of eating well, whatever that means to you. For me, that’s going to mean eating pizza again after my reintroduction, and not feeling bad about it, but I also hope that it means I won’t have any desire to eat pizza in excess.

I want to tell you about the cons of this program, however you can totally get through them. Yo, cooking yourself every. single. meal. (save two in my case.. thanks Briands!) SUCKS! It sucks. Yes, you can make bulk meals and just heat them in the microwave, but you are putting in work all the time. There are days that are totally exhausting, not because you’re eating shitty, but because eating well requires work. So, as my roommate pointed out, which made me almost fly off the handle because I was tired of cooking, I was eating bacon maybe too much. Shout out to BLT+A salad for helping me thrive. To get through these 30 days, you might have the same meal a few too many times, and that’s alright.

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The second con of this program is not the program’s fault, but the people around you will, hopefully unintentionally, constantly ask you if you want a drink or a doughnut. There are days within this 30 days that you might tell these people where they can shove their doughnut hole. That’s alright. You’re just doin’ you boo, and if getting through this means that you have to tell these people every day how dumb they are for constantly asking you if you want something you can’t have, do it. I spent a lot of my Whole30 at home alone because I really wanted this to be a success, and going out was just too much for me. Alone time turned out to be really great for me. I went to bed early, felt well rested, went for a lot of walks, started reading again, and found new motivation to achieve my goals.. this was also thanks to my new healthy diet. I think we call that a WIN-WIN!

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There are so many pros that I might end up sounding like I joined a cult if I listed them all, so instead I want to share my non-scale victories. I actually can’t share my scale victory because I don’t have a scale, so I have no idea what I weighed when I started, or what I weigh today. No big deal to me, I will weigh myself next time I visit my Aunt and Uncle’s to see where I’m at from my starting weight and then give myself a little high five. I did however measure, so I’ll put those down below.

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First victory, my sleeping habits; I fall asleep faster, I don’t wake up in the middle of night (unless my cats wake me up -_-), and I feel well rested every morning. My hair has started growing like a flippin’ weed. I got about 2 inches cut off just before the start of the Whole30, and all of the length is already back. My hair is also a lot more shiny and strong, and so are my nails. My focus is like a lazer.. ok maybe like a disco ball, but no diet can fix that. While I still have lots of things that I’m focusing on, I find myself less distracted while working. There are more, but the biggest non-scale victory here is my HAPPINESS. Last month I was struggling. I hated everything. I wanted to move home. I just couldn’t hang. Today, I feel happy. I am looking forward to so many things. Things that I knew about before I started the Whole30 that were just meh, are now YAAAAS.

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Completing this Whole30 makes me feel so much more capable and in control of my life. No matter how you spin it, food is key in a healthy body and a healthy mind. I wish that I could convince all of you to do a Whole30. It’s really not that hard. I mean, do you remember what you ate 30 days ago, or even last week? Doing this reset has made me feel amazing, and I want every single one of you to feel as good as I do now.

So here’s the stats:
September 2015        September 2016          October 2016
Neck: 14″                     Neck: 13″                       Neck: 13″
Bicep: 12 ½”                 Bicep: 12 ¾”                 Bicep: 12 ¼”
Breasts: 43″                 Breasts: 39”                  Breasts: 38”
Chest: 35 ½”                Chest: 34 ½”                  Chest: 32 ½”
Stomach: 38″              Stomach: 35 ½”             Stomach: 34”
Butt: 49″                       Butt: 44 ½                      Butt: 43 ½
Thigh: 29″                    Thigh: 24 ¾”                   Thigh: 23 ½”
Calf: not recorded      Calf: 15 ¾”                      Calf: 15 ½”

I’ve lost a total of 24 ½ inches, 7 ½ of that on the Whole30.. if my math is right.. which it’s probably not, but whatever. Here are my before and after Whole30 pictures, which I can’t’ say I’m totally stoked to put on the internet, but progress is progress!

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September Whole 30

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Attention ladies and gentlemen (or man, probably just Dad), I am here to proudly declare, because it’s actually one of the steps I’m supposed to complete; I will be participating and completing the September Whole 30. Are you like, what is the Whole 30? Well, some might say it’s impossible, or hell, or a terrible idea.. but I say it’s the next step in my transformation from chubby caterpillar to lean and fit butterfly.

The Whole 30 is a lifestyle, which I know sounds hella cheeseball (which you can’t eat on the Whole 30), but it truly is a lifestyle. For 30 days you eat clean, like cleaner than paleo, which you’re more likely familiar with. The truth is sugar, grains, dairy and/or legumes are probably affecting your physical, and maybe mental, health negatively. And you can’t forget about all those nasty chemicals in like flippin’ everything we eat. So you eat clean, preferably organic, veggies, fruits, meats, seafood, eggs, healthy fats, nuts and seeds. You plan, you cook, you eat, your life changes. I’m not even being dramatic.

Over the last year and a handful of months I went from going out to eat on an almost daily basis to an almost never basis. I said goodbye to snacking on cheese and candy and drinking energy drinks. I stopped bringing home a bottle of wine or a six pack of cider. And slowly but surely I’ve watch my body shrink, my sleep improve, and my love for myself grow. I am now super ready to lose the last 15 pounds and start working out like I’m Khloe Kardashian.. just kidding, kind of. No, but seriously, do you follow her on snap? Her workouts are insane and the shape of her body is.. unreal.

So this, the magical September Whole 30, is my next step. Oh, and this Whole 30 is kind of a big deal. Melissa Hartwig (Google her, #goals) the creator of the Whole 30 is releasing a new book on the 30th day of this round. The book, Food Freedom Forever, gives you the skills you need to never return to savagely eating Cheese-Its or always buying gummy bears in the Trader Joe’s checkout. The book weens you off your Whole 30 so you can figure out what Whole 30 no-no’s are affecting you, whether it’s your evening glass of wine that’s keeping you up at night or lunch meat with nitrates that’s causing your acne.

I have been meal planning for weeks and I can’t wait to put this plan into action. If this has inspired you and you want to participate too, check out whole30.com and be sure to leave a comment below so we can support each other along the way!

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*image by emilie blincoe

‘It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.’

I’m writing this post after getting a few inquires from my last post when I mentioned I had lost weight. I am no expert, CLEARLY. Not to mention I ate breakfast twice today, once was at Dunkin’ Donuts, and I then followed that up with chicken strips. But hey, it’s totally okay to eat like crap sometimes, it taste good.

So here is my average human being advice on how I’ve been working at being a healthier average human being. I bet I have said this like 300 times, and there are probably a few people in the world that are really tired of hearing it, but it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. SERIOUSLY. The word diet is basically a swear word, like the really insulting super bad kind that never accidentally slips out when you’re around your Mom. You might lose weight on a diet, but you will 99% of the time gain it back. A diet is a quick fix, not a solution. More than likely you have to change your lifestyle to become healthier, so here’s how my lifestyle has changed.

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I have not been meal planning like I planned to back in May, but I have been counting my calories. I use the Lose It! app. I have tried My Fitness Pal, but that thing is not a pal. It made me feel bad. Lose It! is not trying to be your pal, it’s just telling you how many calories you ate, how much exercise you’ve done, and how many calories you’ve consumer/burned in your day. Yes, it gives you a goal, but it’s not yelling at when you go over…Okay My Fitness Pal doesn’t yell at you either, but I just didn’t like it.

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I’ve committed myself to not buying bread or sweets (other than cereal which is basically candy), and trying not to drink alcohol during the week. Bread leads to grilled cheese, and peanut butter and jelly, and BLT’s, and breakfast sandwiches, which are all great in moderation, but who the hell is moderating my sandwich intake? It’s supposed to be me, but I have no control over making sandwiches. So if there is no bread, there is no excessive sandwich making. And alcohol, well that’s a no brainer.

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Without sandwiches, I’ve been eating healthier alternatives such a zoodles, spaghetti squash, and all the vegetable stuff in between. My Mom recently gave me a smoothie maker, which is both convenient and fun. I highly recommend investing in one. Clearly, produce is my new best friend for all meals. Besides produce, I eat eggs or Greek yogurt at breakfast, at lunch I like low-fat cottage cheese and deli meats, and at dinner I usually toss in a protein like chicken and whip up sauces to make meals more exciting.

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Lastly, in the food department advice, follow the serving suggestions. If you’re counting calories you have to put in the serving. ONLY EAT THE SERVING. I can’t live without a crunch, especially at lunch, and crunchy vegetables don’t count. I pretty much always have wheat thins, or pita chips, or something in the crunchy category. As I reach my 30 pound goal, I may have to cut these out, but for now I will take the 100 some calories for the 14 crackers. It’s worth it. But only eat the 14 crackers, otherwise you might as well just eat a grilled cheese because SCREW IT.

Oh one more food thing, if you have an ALDI, buy your produce there. Seriously. So much cheaper than anywhere else. SO MUCH CHEAPER. Really, why are you shopping anywhere else for anything else unless you need Jiff or Q-Tips? Oh and weekends are for eating whatever you want, especially pizza. And drink water, like all the water.

Physical fitness wise, yoga is my go-to activity. I can’t recommend Yoga with Adriene enough. She is the most hilarious, positive, chill person on the Internet, I swear. I really want to be her best friend, but practicing with her videos will suffice. I kicked off my ‘fitness journey’ by doing her 30 Days of Yoga. Really, I’m not a huge exercise till you sweat person. I don’t mind sweating, but I hate showering. My skin is sensitive and I have better things to do with my time than bathe. Thus there is no dedicated cardio time in this lifestyle change, but again, might have to happen to reach the big 3-0.

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I live the pedestrian life. I haven’t had a car in over a year now, which obviously only works if you live within a certain proximity of your daily activities, have a Mom who takes you shopping when needed, and have friends who will always pick you up (THANKS EVERYONE). Life without a car has literally forced me to be physically active. On average I walk just over 3 miles a day. I believe this has hugely contributed to being more active and positive in general.

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LASTLY, I believe the number one contribution to my lifestyle change is cutting out negativity in my life. I’m sure the health benefits of eating and exercising make me feel better too, but I’ve weeded out a lot of negative, and filled in the gaps with lots of positive stuff. From a whole pack of new friends, to new responsibilities that have lead to new passions, the positive feels I have for life right now make everything easier. So smile, live in the present, and do what makes you happy!

I hope this has inspired you, or encouraged you to try something new, or just made you laugh a little. What do you do to live a happy healthy life?!

 

 

My Chef Audrey: Sweet and Spicy Tacos

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I’m so happy to be blogging again. The other night when Audrey made these tacos I had plenty of other things I needed to be doing, but I just wanted to take pictures and share them with you! We are currently trying to change our diet from excessive amounts of pizza and snack foods, to mostly veggies and fruit. Other than dinner tonight, neither of us have had any bread (flour), or cheese. I was just running too low on energy to go to the grocery store and I really needed to get a lot done tonight, so I opted for a turkey sub from the sub shop up the street.

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Alright, on to the recipe! We bought a giant watermelon the other day, and I happened to find a recipe for watermelon tacos in my Good Housekeeping magazine. Audrey used that recipe as inspiration for our dinner.

Sweet and Spicy Tacos
Serves 4!
What You’ll Need:
For the Rice:
2 cups of rice (we used white)
1 cup of water
5 thin-ishly (Audrey made that word up) sliced Brussels sprouts
1 clove of garlic, minced
sea salt
Mediterranean seasoning
1 tablespoon of butter
Melinda’s Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce

For the Tacos:
1 package of corn tortillas
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup of diced watermelon
1 thinly sliced red, yellow, and orange mini bell pepper (that’s one of each)
1 large garlic clove
1/2 medium size onion
2 chicken breasts cut to bite size
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
Meditarranean seasoning
Meldina’s Garlic Habanera Hot Sauce
Sea salt
Ground pepper
Feta for garnish (I guess we’ve had a little cheese, but it ‘the good kind’!)

Combine 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water in a medium size sauce pan. Add Brussels sprouts, garlic, sea salt, Mediterranean seasoning, and Melinda’s. Turn on low heat and cover. Audrey was making all of this up entirely off the top of her head, and at this point she says “I think it’s probably going to taste pretty good.” Let it simmer for 20 minutes, add the butter, and remove from heat but leave covered until your other food is done.

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In a large skillet (be sure it has deep sides), add tomato, watermelon, peppers, garlic, onion, all seasoning and olive oil. Turn your heat to medium, and cover. Because there is a lot of water in the veggies, it will be very liquid-y. After 15 minutes add chicken. 10 minutes later add the spinach, and slowly combine. At this point you can leave the lid off and allow some of the liquid to evaporate.

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I took a short video of how to brown the tortilla shells, but then I decided it was totally obvious on how you brown tortilla shells. Add a little bit of olive oil in a small pan and place on medium heat. Lightly brown each side of the shell. The shells will feel rubbery at first, but after they heat up in the pan they will have a light crisp. Audrey recommends using two shells because the corn shells typically fall apart a bit easier than flour.

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to serve your chicken and veggies, and top with feta! You can add your rice to the taco, or have it as a side. I hope you enjoyed this healthy twist on tacos! Be sure to let us know if you try our recipe.

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