04-04-2013

Tips For A Successful Whole30

Earlier this week, I posted about my Whole30 experience and what I thought of it. I loved it! And I’ve definitely felt the effects (my mom too) of reintroducing foods into our diet.

We haven’t re-started it 100% yet, so we’ve had a few things here and there (cereal for me mainly haha and some cookies…) As I previously mentioned, it has made me feel so lethargic, and given me headaches…and my energy during the day has waned a little bit. Also, my shin pain, specifically calves burning and getting super tight during runs, is back! I can’t say if its solely because of not eating whole foods…but I wouldn’t be surprised after reading in It Starts With Food about how just one bit of something can throw everything out of whack.

Anyway…I wanted to share some tips with you all about how to manage 30 days of eating only protein, veggies, fruit and healthy fats! A lot of people I have told can’t believe it and say “I could never do that.” Yes you can! You just need to commit to it and do it. You can do anything for 30 days. What means more to you? Feeling great and improving your body? Or treating yourself to certain foods because you “can’t” give them up? Sorry for the tough love…

Here are my tips:

1. Take it a week at a time: Don’t view it as OMG 30 days…take it one week at a time. Trust me, after week 1, time flies and you’ll soon be at week 3 and can’t believe it. Also, once you’re further in you won’t want to break your streak!

2. Prepare a meal chart weekly: This helped me SO much. I am not a planner at all, but I found that when I thought, “hmm what should I make for dinner today” (in the past) I’d end up making whatever was quickest and easiest. Once I mapped out every meal for every day, it was a lot easier to follow Whole30.

3. Cut up meat, veggies or fruit on a weekend for the week: Meal prep helps a lot too. You get home, you’re tired, hungry…do you really feel like cutting up meat and veggies? Cut them up and put them in containers, or freeze if you won’t use it right away, so you always have them on hand and ready.

4. Look at ALL ingredients: you’d be surprised how many things you think are healthy actually have a lot of preservatives, added sugar, added salt, and more. These are not whole30 compliant!

5. Try new recipes: this is a great time to experiment with new foods and recipes. I loved doing this, and it makes it more exciting…who knows maybe you’ll find your next favorite recipe!

6. Try not to dine out: Yes, this sucks, but try not to…or if you do, make sure your protein is grilled, not pan friend, there is no extra butter or whatever sauce on it, and they don’t use dressing. Exactly…it’s easier to just eat in. And WAY less tempting! If you DO dine out, look at the menu ahead of time and pick something so you’re not tempted once you get there.

7. Have a “treat” when you are craving something: craving a sweet? really bad?? Don’t do it! I grew to love bananas and apples with almond butter (in moderation). Cravings will go away as you keep going on, I promise!

8. Just commit and do it! The book makes a great point of if you think “I’ll let myself have 1 cheat daily or weekly” it then becomes complicated and you’re constantly thinking “should this be my cheat for the day? maybe I will have 2 cheats and not cheat tomorrow.” For 30 days just commit and get those cheats out of your head! At the end, I promise you, you will feel SO much better

Hopefully this helps those of you with questions or who want to try it! It really changed the way I view food and my relationship with food.

Do you plan on trying Whole30? What motivates you to make the right food choices?

04-01-2013

Whole30 Recap

So I finished Whole30! I apologize for not posting my meals last week…it was a busy week and I forgot to write them down for myself to post. Basically, it was all the same as Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3 for the most part. I’m a creature of habit I guess :) One thing I did make for dinner last week was my buffalo chicken meatloaf…I forgot how quick and easy it is to make!

Anyways, Whole30 started with the book It Starts With Food. I had heard about it before, but when a friend suggested I join her in doing it, I decided to read the book and dive in. (PS – This post may be on the longer side!)

Overall, I would highly suggest this “diet” but I would say read the book first so you fully understand it. It’s not really a diet, nor should you think of it as not being able to eat anything, because in reality you can eat as much as you want, just of healthy, whole foods.

I found that I did, in fact, have a lot more energy, which was stable throughout the day. My workouts and runs did not suffer, which I was afraid of, especially since I’m in the midst of half marathon training. While I cannot say that I lost weight or bodyfat (more on that in a second), my mom (who did whole30 with me) lost 5 lbs and an inch or two around her belly. She also experienced the other positive side effects I did, as well as others.

I was disappointed that I did not lose any bodyfat. For two years now, my bodyfat percentage has stayed the same, despite lifting, running, and eating clean. I couldn’t believe 30 days of no cheats whatsoever yielded no results for me, and it was the last straw. A few people, along with my old personal trainer boss, told me I should go see an endocrinologist, which I am doing in the coming weeks. Hopefully I have an answer as to why my body holds on to fat! Some may say I don’t need to lose fat/weight, but the truth is my bodyfat percentage is rather high for my height, weight, and activity level. It’s actually close to an unhealthy range. I started Whole30 in hopes of lowering it a little, but it is clear that something else is going on.

However, I highly recommend this to others! This is an amazing way to set a goal of eating whole, non processed foods. You may think 30 days is hard, but honestly, once you start your streak, you do not want to break it. It’s also much easier than you think to eat a bunch of protein and veggies…it’s just all about finding the veggies you like.

Again, I suggest reading the book! You will learn so much about hormones and the roles they play in your body…and how your food choices affect them. I am much more aware of what I am putting into my body now. But I’ll admit, the day after I finished, I had to splurge a little…

Something sweet was calling my name! This is a nutella banana crepe :)

OH and a word about reintroduction…the first day I reintroduced grains and they definitely had an effect on me. Within the hour I felt lethargic, and SO tired. I got home and immediately passed out for a nap. I couldn’t believe it!

This weekend was a little bit of a splurge weekend, since I finished Whole30 and it was Easter…but my mom and I are starting back up tomorrow! It probably won’t be as strict because I know I will be going out for a friend’s birthday this weekend, but I’m excited to get back to foods that make me feel good =)

Have you tried Whole30? Do you think you will? Please let me know if you have any questions at all!

 

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03-23-2013

Whole30 Week 3 Recap

I can’t believe today is Day 20! 10 more days of Whole30 to go. I’ve been a little frustrated because I haven’t really been seeing the results I was hoping for in terms of getting leaner…but I will know the final results at the end of Whole30 once I take my bodyfat percentage.

Regardless, it’s felt good to have control over what I eat, and not eat unnecessary junk. Sure, it was hard at times when my dad and siblings were eating buffalo wings, cookies, etc. but I got through it! Having that mental fortitude felt great. Honestly, I think I am going to continue it for another 30 days, after 1-2 days of more relaxed eating. All I have wanted this whole time is a bowl of cereal! :)

Here are this week’s meals. I am going to try to eat more for the next 10 days because apparently I haven’t been eating enough (according to the Whole30 forum). We’ll see what happens!

Day 14

Meal 1: 2 chicken sausage, 1/4 avocado

Meal 2: Tuna with mixed greens and 1/4 avocado, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Meal 3: apple with almond butter

Meal 4: chicken with sweet potato and veggie stew

Meal 5: cashews

Day 15

Meal 1: 2 chicken sausage, 1/4 avocado

Meal 2: tuna, salad, 1/4 avocado

Meal 3: almond butter with apple

Meal 4 pre-workout: cashews

Meal 5: leftover chicken and sweet potato soup

Meal 6: 2 eggs, half larabar

Day 16

Meal 1: 2 eggs, salsa, 1/4 avocado

Meal 2: sweet potato and leek soup with 1 chicken sausage

Meal 3: apple and almond butter

Meal 4: chicken, crushed tomatoes, sauce, and mixed greens…cashews

Day 17

Meal 1: 1 egg

Meal 2: 3 eggs and mixed green salad

Meal 3: apple and almond butter

Meal 4: taco salad, grapes

Day 18

Meal 1: 2 eggs, apple and almond butter

Meal 2: leftover taco salad

Meal 3: grilled salmon salad from Ruby Tuesday’s

Meal 4 (more like a snack): banana

Day 19

Meal 1: 2 eggs, 1/4 avocado, banana and almond butter

Meal 2: taco salad leftovers

Meal 3 pre-workout: 1 egg, larabar

Meal 4: chicken, sauce, mixed greens…cashews

Day 20 (today so far)

Meal 1: 2 eggs, 1 chicken sausage

Meal 2: leftover chicken, sauce, and mixed greens

Meal 3 pre-workout: banana, almond butter, handful of cashews, 1 chicken sausage

 

So this week, as I’m typing, I realize I ate fruit and almond butter most days. A lot of people in the Whole30 forums said this may be why I’m not seeing much change, and to eat more protein and veggies. I am going to try this but I just do not like most veggies! I force myself to eat most of them, I just don’t find any vegetable taste that appealing. It’s certainly nothing I’d ever crave like I do a good banana or apple. Guess I need to change this mentality for the next 30 days!

What’s your favorite way to eat vegetables?

 

03-22-2013

Taco Salad Recipe

Taco salad is my new favorite recipe. During Whole30, I have eaten it multiple times for dinner and lunch. It is so good!

Also, it is so easy and quick to make. Here’s what I used for 4 people:

Ingredients:

1 pack of natural ground turkey or chicken OR buy chicken and make it into ground chicken yourself

Lettuce (I use mixed greens)

1/2 avocado per person (My family usually each does this on their own because my sister and brother hate avocados)

Natural salsa

Side: sweet potato

Directions:

1) Saute onions first, add in ground poultry once the onions are browned. Add in garlic and spices if you want as well. I use basil and oregano.

2) Add in chopped tomatoes to give the meat a little bit of juice. Simmer for 5-10 minutes

3) Add the meat onto a bed of lettuce (and I add in olive oil and balsamic vinegar).

4) Cut up avocado and add in along with 2 tablespoons of salsa.

Done!

Let me know if you end up trying this. I love it!

03-17-2013

Whole30 Week 2 Recap

Already halfway through the 30 day challenge…can’t believe it, time actually went by quickly! Still feeling great and not feeling any cravings. Though last night I did have a dream I ate pizza and ice cream LOL, but the book did say sometimes you may have dreams about foods you miss :-P

Here’s my week 2 update:

Day 8

Meal 1: 2 hard boiled eggs, cashews

Meal 2: salad with ground turkey and tomato sauce + grapes

Meal 3: one egg

Meal 4: chicken with sweet potato, tomato sauce with peppers, onions and crushed tomatoes

Day 9

Meal 1: three egg omelette with mushroom, 1/2 avocado

Meal 2: apple with almond butter

Meal 3: salad with tuna, 1/2 avocado

Meal 4: hard boiled egg, banana (thought I was going to have my long run this day but it was cancelled)

Meal 5: wild caught salmon with sweet potato

Day 10

Meal 1: 2 hard boiled eggs with salad, 4-5 strawberries

Meal 2: salad with chicken, 1/2 avocado, tomato, cucumber, sweet potato

Meal 3: apple with almond butter

Meal 4: 1/2 banana, cashews (before my 9 mile run)

Meal 5: taco salad, sweet potato (will post recipe this week because it is SO good!) Here’s a picture:

Day 11

Meal 1: 3 hardboiled eggs, 1/2 avocado

Meal 2: tuna with mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, 1 banana

Meal 3: chicken, tomato sauce, cauliflower rice

Day 12

Meal 1: 2 chicken sausage, 1/2 avocado, handful grapes

Meal 2: mixed greens, three hardboiled eggs, apple with almond butter

Meal 3: 1/2 can of tuna (post workout)

Meal 4: sweet potato and leek soup

Day 13

*May have had too much almond butter today but I was hungry and we haven’t gone grocery shopping for other snacks!

Meal 1: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 chicken sausage, 1 banana with almond butter

Meal 2: tuna with mixed green salad (strawberries mixed in)

Meal 3: taco salad again…because it is so delicious

Meal 4: banana with almond butter

Day 14 (today so far)

Meal 1: 3 egg omelet with mushrooms

Meal 2: chicken, tomato/tomato sauce, spaghetti squash

 

Half down, half to go!

Anyone have paleo/whole30 recipe suggestions for me? =)

03-09-2013

Whole30 Week 1 Recap

I did it! 1 week of 100% Whole30! (well, minus tomorrow but I wanted to write this post today).

It was actually way easier than I expected. The only thing I got cravings for was cereal in the afternoon sometimes. I think it’s easier for me than for my mom because I had pretty much cut out grains and dairy before starting this challenge, so my body was pretty much used to it. Here is what I ate this week for those who are interested!

Day 1

Meal 1: 3 scrambled eggs with mushrooms

Meal 2: mixed greens, tuna, sliced strawberries, 1/2 avocado salad

Meal 3: I don’t remember if I had a meal between lunch and dinner…but if I did it may have been a larabar

Meal 4: spaghetti squash chicken alfredo

Day 2

Meal 1: 3 scrambled eggs with mushrooms

Meal 2: 1 apple with almond butter

Meal 3: spaghetti squash chicken alfredo leftovers

Meal 4: chicken sausage, larabar (pre 8 mile run)

Meal 5: tuna with broccoli (post 8 mile run)

Meal 6: balsamic chicken with spices and sweet potato

Day 3

Meal 1: 2 hardboiled eggs, 1 chicken sausage, 1/2 avocado

Meal 2: mixed greens, tuna, almonds, 1/2 avocado

Meal 3: grapes and cashews (pre workout)

Meal 4: chicken burgers with watercress salad

Day 5

Meal 1: 2 chicken sausage, 1/2 avocado

Meal 2: chicken leftovers with mixed greens

Meal 3: grapes, cashews

Meal 4: chicken, organic tomato sauce, cauliflower rice (recipe coming soon!)

Day 6:

Meal 1: 2 chicken sausage, 1/2 avocado

Meal 2: chicken + cauliflower rice leftovers

Meal 3: 2 hardboiled eggs, 1/2 larabar (pre workout)

Meal 4: other 1/2 larabar (post workout)

Meal 5: beef with mushrooms, mixed green salad with tomatoes and 1/2 avocado, 4 strawberries post-dinner

Day 7 (today so far)

Meal 1: 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado

Meal 2: chicken with crushed tomatoes, peppers, onions, tomato sauce

 

Overall, this week has been great and I have been feeling great. Some meals are repetitive throughout my week but I’m ok with that. I like being in a routine. I try to switch it up sometimes for breakfast at least (well, with eggs and chicken sausage). But I love finding new dinner recipes to try out…we’ll see what I can make this upcoming week!

Question for those who have done Whole30 and also been endurance training: How do you fuel for long runs? I’ve read raisins are good, and dried fruit. Help!

03-05-2013

Spaghetti Squash Chicken “Alfredo”

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This dinner was delicious! I got the inspiration from Tasty Kitchen but modified a lot of it.

This was my first “Whole30″ dinner of the week. My mom and I planned out all of our meals for the next few days and it’s hanging on our fridge. Who would have thought this would make eating healthier so much easier than just winging it! Common sense, I know…but I had never thought to do this!

Anyway, here is how I made this great, healthy dish:

1. Cut up chicken breast and cook in a pan. I used coconut oil to grease the pan. Add spices. I used garlic, thyme, basil and pepper.

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2. Cut up your veggies while the chicken cooks, then add to the chicken mix and cook on low. I used broccoli, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.

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3. I had to move the chicken and veggies to a pot because it got too crowded. I poured 1 can of coconut milk into the previous pan so it would soak up the leftover spices. I let it simmer on low for 5 minutes, then added to the pot with the chicken and veggies. Let it simmer again for 5-10 minutes on low.

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4. Now it’s ready to serve over spaghetti squash! Enjoy!

Ingredient list (serves 4-5)

  • 1 package of chicken breast
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • basil
  • thyme
  • 1/2 a packed of diced mushrooms
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash

Please let me know if you try this out!

03-04-2013

“It Starts With Food” Book Review + Whole30 Update

So as some of you know, last week I said I would start Whole30. I only had information from their website and figured I’d try it out. Well, it was a major fail because I wasn’t fully prepared or invested. I knew I wanted to read the book that goes over Whole30 first. So I decided to buy It Starts With Food (Only 10 bucks on your nook or kindle!).

I love the book. It gets right into the science behind your food choices, and how it affects your body and hormones. There are so many things food can play a role in, such as sleeping issues, skin issues, digestive issues, and more. I highly recommend anyone interested in the science behind food to pick up this book. They give a lot of analogies too so it’s not too “science-y.”

Starting today, I am doing Whole30. The book went over a lot of great stuff that really motivated me. I had a delicious mushroom and egg omelette this morning, and had some tuna, mixed greens, strawberries, and avocado for lunch. I know 30 days will be hard, but as the book says, it’s a reset for your body and your hormones. I can’t wait to see how I feel at the end of the 30 days!

For those of you who told me you have tried Whole30, what are some of your favorite recipes?

02-28-2013

Whole30 Update

As I mentioned on Monday, I wanted to try the Whole30 challenge, and I’m still kind of doing that.

What do I mean? Well after 3 days I was hungry a lot! So I have modified it a little to allow for snacking. You’re technically not supposed to snack, you’re supposed to eat meals but I am still hungry all the time. Yesterday I had 4 meals before 4 pm and was still hungry! I have no idea why…

So I’m letting myself have small snacks if I am really hungry. I am always on the go during the week so I need to have snacks ready just in case. Such as fruit (bananas, strawberries, apples) and nuts. Also, I will be eating hummus occasionally because before I started this I bought a huge thing of hummus that expires on March 10. So it’s a small rule I am breaking (eating legumes) but I think in the grand scheme of things will that really effect me? I am all about eating whole, clean, nutritious foods. And organic hummus is that! Other than that, I will follow all of the rules (no grains, no other legumes, no dairy).

March 27 will be 30 days…so we’ll see how it goes! It’s been hard this week to stay motivated to not eat certain things (cereal, chocolate) mainly because I’ve been eating not that great for the past few weeks, but I know it will get better.

Has anyone successfully finished Whole30 or a Paleo challenge? How did you feel?

02-06-2013

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Finding a lot of good stuff this week…and there was more but I had to pick and chose…I’ll have more next week for ya!

  • Crossfit WOD Chelsea (Fit Bottomed Girls) – I have tried this one a few times in the past…killer. If you want a simple Crossfit workout without too much equipment, this is the one for you.
  • Butternut Squash Risotto (Skinnytaste) – This looks delicious! I am always looking for veggie sides I can make besides salads. Need to try this one!
  • The Flatter Tummy Workout (Realbuzz) – A lot of great core exercises here. Flatter tummy or not, it’s always important to have a strong core! I love “puppet” though I call them deadbugs
  • Perfect Paleo Meatballs (Clean Food Creative Fitness) – For all my paleo people! I love any recipe with spaghetti squash.
  • Tips to Run Longer (Fit Sugar) – I know I need to be better about foam rolling and massages. If you’re training for a spring race, this is a good read!

Are you training for any spring races? Which ones?