Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I Stopped at 30 and What the Future Holds

This post is a little delayed because Thursday was day 30 and Friday I was on day 31. Today is Monday. Reason for the delay....a debate on humbling myself and admitting I ate froyo thus, ending my Whole 30 before Lent ended. 

And I'm okay with that. 

Also because I lacked taking an after picture until uhhh Sunday?? Oops. In my defense, I need one of my roommates there. Since I took my first with my phone...consistency is key ..or so I have heard. 

I mean when one does the Whole 30 they must take a before and after photo right??? 

Well, here is my humbling before and after with still a ways to go. And just because I had froyo on Friday doesn't mean I've been in a tail spin out of control since. Actually, the opposite has happened and I'm more empowered to eat well and not go back down the path that led to the "before" picture. 

Same bra. Same top. Same pants. Nearly same stance...

However, I am proud of where I stand today. 


Pounds lost: 12 
Waist inches lost: 4ish
Hips inches lost: 4
Pants: Down 1 size..aka I can't keep my pants on but I'm not buying new ones yet. 

I really didn't think there would be a great difference but there is a definite difference in my mid section!

I have tried reintroducing foods and so far gluten and dairy have made me sick....really sick.  So they are out, which doesn't surprise me. I have had issues with them in the past but never a reaction this bad. Sadly, sugar didn't taste horrible to me. I was hoping for a great distaste for it but that didn't happen.

So what did I learn during my Whole 30....

1. Always have a game plan.
My success was due to being prepared ahead of time for challenging moments such as working at a Reds game, celebrating two birthdays and going home four times. Each of these involved non Whole 30 compliant foods. Each Reds game I get a free hot dog (gag now... unless it's from Applegate Farms), so I brought a Larabar to hold me over and ate before the game. For the birthdays, one she wanted to eat at Chipotle before we went skating (win), the second was at Red Robin where I had a plain burger with just tomato and lettuce and a side of unseasoned sweet potato fries. 

Planning goes for more than going out, you have to plan for your week. I may not plan out each meal, but I would plan 3 big meals I would make and re-heat through out the week. This planning and prepping made meals go more smoothly. 

2. You have good  have bad days. 
I'm pretty sure the first six-nine days I experienced the closest thing to drug withdrawals I will ever experience. My head hurt. I was not so nice teacher. However by the tenth day, my energy surge finally hit. I genuinely felt happy. Apparently this "happiness" was so evident that one of my students leaned in one morning and asked me who the dude was. Even this last week was tough. I was four weeks in, feeling great then bam. Rough emotional week, led to me being very unenthusiastic in the kitchen. All I wanted was a stinkin' Paleofied pancake....honestly. I held tight until day 30. 

3. Spice it up. 
Spices honestly saved me during this. They can take bland chicken to something amazing. Look up spice blends or check out Colonel De.

4. Stop focusing on the physical. 
My reasoning for doing this was 50% get my body back in check with cravings and eating habits...50% I want to look fine in a bikini for once come summer time. Yes, I know this is really NOT the reason to do this but it was one of shoot me. However, I do wish I would have stopped focusing on the physical so much. My mental clarity is crazy better. I don't NEED coffee anymore in the mornings, I just choose to drink it out of habit. When you start your Whole 30, most likely your body will change, but don't be bummed if it's not an enormous amount. Focus on the non-physical changes you will begin to notice. 

5. You are the determiner of you.
I was the only one on the Whole 30 in my apartment. I live with two other girls I know from church. Both were supportive and pushed me to continue on with it. The first few days were rough....watching them eat ice cream, pizza, pasta, biscuits and gravy...I think I understand how a begging dog feels. But after awhile, it didn't bother me. I would eat my apple and almond butter while they enjoyed ice cream. They made no decision for me, I had to make the decision for myself. I kept on reminding myself it's only for at least 30 days. The truth is turning down the food empowered me more than giving into the food. I knew once I ate something, I would feel awful both physically and mentally. You made the decision, you have to make the choices to continue and follow through with it. 

Will I do another Whole 30? 

Heck. Yes. I'm actually thinking about doing one for May or  June. But honestly, I think I will naturally just continue to eat the way I did on the Whole 30 without having the Whole 30 tag with it. Is it hard?? Kind of. You will be tested, but you can easily say no to food. It's just food. And trust me you will feel so amazingly awesome halfway through that you will not want to eat those foods most likely again. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sweet Potato Chili

I have a special place in my heart for chili. Probably due to the fact that I was born and raised in Skyline territory, the original chili with chocolate. As cold as this winter has been though, I lacked in the chili recipe department. I did make my Crockpot Skyline Chili, but that is about it until this recipe. Most chili recipes are very similar, meat, either a chicken broth base or tomato sauce base, seasonings and a long date with the stove or crock pot. 

This recipe did have some "zing" to it, granted, I am a weak mouth when it comes to spicy. 

I loved it topped with avocado and some cilantro. I was missing cheese but I must remember I feel enormously better when I do not consume dairy products. 

Sweet Potato Chili (5-6 servings) 

1 lb of ground beef 
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
1 can of diced green chiles
2 cans of diced tomatoes (I used one of Trader Joe's fire roasted)
1/2 cup of chicken stock 
2 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of black pepper 
1/2 tsp of salt (add more for your taste)

Brown the beef in skillet and drain the fat. Combine all the ingredients in a dutch oven (or other pan you can easily cover). Simmer on low for 45-60 minutes. 

Top with avocado and cilantro. Enjoy! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chicken Kale Meatballs

Kale seems to be the "cool" food of the moment. Kale chips, Kale smoothies, Kale Pesto....well I drank the juice and I am in love with kale. I found a frozen package of the good stuff from Trader Joe's and have been trying to find ways to incorporate it into recipes and not just chips. 

Being on the Whole 30, I find myself experimenting more with foods to make meals exciting and keep me interested. This meal did just that. In fact, I ate it for three meals in a row no problem. 

These meatballs are amazing. 
Perfect blend of  comfort and health. 

Eating a dish like this makes me forget about my old Italian favorites. 

Chicken Kale Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken
1/3 cup of chopped cooked kale. I used the frozen kind from Trader Joe's
1/4 cup of almond meal
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 black pepper
1/4 tsp of salt

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Form into 8-10 meatballs. Place meat balls in a skillet with ghee or coconut oil to cook in. Cook on each side until brown. I put my skillet lid on when I flipped them to create a way to "steam" them. Cook until done. Enjoy with tomato sauce (sugar free or make your own!) and spaghetti squash!

And I have to because they're on right now....