Well, it’s finished, it’s done. 30 days of only whole foods…no alcohol, no dairy, no sugar, no beans, no grains… It’s done. It’s day 31, and I’m still Whole30 complaint. I’m not sure what to do with myself. Do I eat paleo? Am I ready? Am I still going to have great energy and be able to sleep through the night? Am I going to feel like crap or poop myself if I eat sugar or grains or ice cream? So. Many. Questions!!
This is embarrassing for me to post… because trainers are supposed to have perfect bodies. Trainers are supposed to have 6-pack abs, and run really fast and lift really heavy, and post half naked pictures of themselves. Trainers are supposed to wear bikinis and show off how hard they workout in classes… Well, none of these things are me. (I can run decently fast every now and then, but that’s about it.) I’m a normal human being who likes to eat cake, who likes to travel and seek balance, enjoy life, and BE HAPPY. I am a human being who loves inspiring other people to be their best, and striving to be better myself every day knowing that I’ll probably never have the body I want or enough money, but in the end – none of that matters. I preach this to my clients ALL OF THE TIME… That fitness is about a REALISTIC, ATTAINABLE LIFESTYLE, and something that can be maintained. Fitness isn’t a bikini body that you have to starve yourself for. Fitness isn’t Fitness is HEALTH. Fitness is happiness, and being the best version of you. THAT is much more than 6-pack abs. So, I’m putting it out there…I’m far from perfect, and I wanted to share with you my “I just got back from a week in Florida and California and maybe I ate an entire bag of peanut butter cups before doing Whole30” picture…
The second picture was about 20 days in when I was really on it. I’ve since had the special time of the month and have maybe fallen off a little… oops. 🙂
As I’ve gotten older, things have gotten a little harder to keep in place. I ventured on this Whole30 journey for more than the physical changes, though. I still weigh the same, but there’s a little difference here… To me, the changes inside outweigh any physical changes I experienced.
I’ll be honest – I didn’t do a good job of reading the book or really reading much about re-introducing foods back in, but this way of eating wasn’t too far off from how I was eating before. I’ve totally rid myself of processed stuff though! Literally nothing processed has been in my body for over 30 days. Kind of cool. So, on that note, I’m just going to jump right in and share a few of the things I learned along the way that may help you decide whether this is something you’d want to try.
- Sugar is in EVERYTHING!! I had NO idea just how prevalent this little drug is in our society and, well, it’s in everything… from milk to almond butter to the obvious chocolate to bars to well, I could keep going, but you get the picture. It is everywhere, and it’s a total drug. Whol30 opened my eyes to this more than ever.
- Whole30 teaches you how to read labels – REALLY read them. If you decide to do Whole30 – read the book! They will show you what to look for on labels and how to decipher if it’s compliant or not or even what is good for you going forward.
- When you’re putting good stuff in – you’re going to get something GOOD in return. (And I don’t mean a good poo!) To me – THE GOOD STUFF – is probably the main benefit that I’ve experienced from this program. The CLARITY – emotionally, mentally and even spiritually – that I’ve had over the last 30 days has been second to none. I’m going to explain more on this below, but wow. Just WOW.
- Sleep is a beautiful thing. I haven’t been able to sleep for more than a year without taking something – not melatonin – no, the hard stuff – ambien, actually! I can’t take a whole one, but I can sure take a little piece! However – since about halfway through this program – I HAVEN’T HAD TO TAKE ONE AT ALL!!! I never dreamed this would have happened, and I’m so thankful.
- Waking up is NOT hard to do. Since on Whole30 – I’m up at 6:30am every morning (or before) ready to rock the world!!! Might I add – WITH NO ALARM. Those of you who know me – know that this is a very, very unheard of thing. Well, life has changed!
- Give yourself grace. I didn’t follow the plan exactly like I should have. I run a lot more than the average Jane, so I ate when I was hungry. I didn’t feel as bad about shoving a bowl of fruit in my face face as I have before after a Sprinkles cupcake, but I probably did overdo the fruits and overeat a bit. I just kept telling myself that “at least it’s not a cupcake!”
- No, REALLY give yourself grace. Using fruit for sugar is looked down upon as well on this program, but again – read the book. I didn’t read it, and grilled bison burgers and fresh corn one night for a friend… oops… I figured corn would be considered a starchy vegetable like a sweet potato or even a banana (which is a starchy fruit), but nope. Not on the plan. When my friend told me – I started sweating. I had just failed Whole30, and it was completely by accident! Some strict Whole30ers will say START OVER, but I really believe that’s a personal choice. It’s not like I binged on a bag of chips or made out with a chocolate cake. No. I had fresh, grilled corn with ghee. Still – it was a mistake, and you have to decide if/when you make an ACCIDENTAL boo-boo if you want to start over the next day.
- READ THE BOOK. Have I mentioned read the book? After I finished my 30 days – I realized a couple of the nut butters I used weren’t complaint… Again, did I fail miserably at Whole30? Not in my eyes. Will I do it again and be more aware next time? Hell yeah.
- Farmer’s markets are the bomb.com. When you can only eat certain things, you really appreciate those things, and the freshness becomes important. I take off Tuesday afternoons so that I can go over to the farmer’s market and get my fruits and veggies. The taste of these fruits and veggies are insane. There’s just nothing like locally grown, fresh-farmed food. And on top of it all – you’re supporting the local economy and farmers! It’s a win-win.
Here’s one meal totally from my farmer’s market finds…
10. Finding new ways of making food is cool. I’ve discovered some awesome new recipes that will now be staples in my weekly eating itinerary. Knowing what goes in your food and how it’s prepared is SO important. Every single little decision you make COUNTS, so finding new ways of approaching recipes is a great thing, and can be super fun too. I’m still not done adding the recipes up – so keep checking back. Here are a few more beauties I made that I will be posting soon…
Those are just a few things that I personally realized over the last 30 days. To me, the biggest, most amazing changes have been in my heart and mind. I believe that this program kind of strips you down to just what you need. There is no fake shit, no processed, additive-filled food that you’re putting in your body, and THAT translated directly to my life. It made me take a real look at the “processed, additve-filled” stuff in my life. It made me take a real look at my relationships, my heart, my faith, my job and my future. I had mental clarity like I’ve never had before. I had the strength to let go of some things that I needed to let go of. I reconnected with God and centered Him in my life again. I came up with a business idea that I’m now moving forward on. I wrote one of the best songs that I’ve ever written… yes, the phrase “you are what you eat” has never been more true to me.
So, there you have it folks. 30 days of super clean eating. The queen of baking, the champion of non-restrictive eating gave up sugar and all of that other stuff for 30 days, and I didn’t miss a thing. Trust me, if I can give up sugar for 30 days – YOU can do ANYTHING. I would definitely tell anyone who is thinking of trying Whole30 – DO IT. It changed my life. It could do the same for you. I sure hope it does.
One of the main things that Whole30 is teaching me – is just how amazing REALLY fresh food is. I’m not talking about going to the grocery and picking up some “fresh vegetables.” No sir. I’m talking about going to your local farmer’s market and buying locally grown, farm to table, fresh, just picked from the dirt FOOD. The difference in the taste and freshness is second to none, and I can only imagine how our bodies love all of the nutrients. Not to mention when you buy locally, you are supporting the local economy, community and farms.
Yesterday I made breakfast 100% from food that I got at the farmer’s market. 2 fresh eggs, strawberries, blackberries, peaches from The Peach Truck, and sweet potatoes roasted with garlic scapes and topped with homemade Whole30 ketchup and fresh cilantro. The taste of one of these strawberries alone will blow your mind – they are NOT your store bought berries! They kind of change your life.
My new obsession is garlic scapes – how pretty are they?!
You can roast them, sauté, make a pesto… Stay tuned – more to come from these beauties.
So, this is just a little post to encourage you to go to your local farmer’s market and BUY SOME FOOD!! Challenge yourself to make an entire meal from what you get from your local farms. I may just never go to the grocery again. 🙂 If you end up taking on this healthy and delicious challenge – share your pictures and tag #farmfreshchallenge. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
If you only read one of my posts all year…let it be this one. I hope it will speak to you. And, it just so happens that it falls on #globalrunningday
Flashback to yesterday when it was just me and the track at 7:45am. Pros of not going at 5:30am – more sleep, track to yourself. Cons – you’ve got the track to yourself. At that point you have no one there cheering you on, you have no one’s energy to feed off of, you have no one to be accountable to – it’s just you, the sound of your shoes, your breath and those white lines.
You could easily give up, walk away, cut corners and be done with it. No one would know. But you would.
I had to envision myself crossing the finish line on September 10th in a few months – knowing that I had qualified for Boston…knowing that the training paid off…no regrets, no corners cut.
Sometimes all you need is a goal. You need something bigger than yourself – more than what you think you can do. Something that you have to work for. Something that won’t be easy. Something that may seem impossible right now. You need to envision the end goal, and keep it close to your heart. I’m learning more and more that this is what life is about. Celebrating your life, achieving goals, believing in something, believing in yourself, inspiring others, saying “I did it.”
I encourage you to find something bigger than yourself, something you think seems unattainable. It’s not… I promise. Keep it at the center of your focus, you’ll get there. Even on the days you think you won’t – you’ll get there, and you’ll be thankful you didn’t give up. It will be worth it. #inspiration #track #bostontraining #marathontraining #run #running #runner #believeinyourself #sweat #fitness #training #trainer #personaltrainer #runnergirl #girlswhorun #inspireatrun #goals #worthit #believeyoucan
I must say – I woke up at 5:55am this morning. WHAT? Everyone who knows me will think the world is coming to an end…and, that was with NO alarm. Again, WHAT?! Maybe it was the impending doom of the track workout I have to do today, or maybe it’s Whole30… We may never know.
It’s Day 12 of Whole30. So far, so good on this new plan. Honestly, it’s not too far from how I already ate (minus all of the healthy baking I do/did). I think the coconut sugar and chocolate chips are getting lonely. But, they aren’t calling my name from the shelves…yet. I’m still waiting on that.
Am I following it to a “t”? No. Do I have too much fruit and eat too often. Ummm..yes. But – I’m not eating donuts. I just keep saying that – I’m not eating donuts. I haven’t had any intentional slip-ups, but I’m planning on doing another blog later this week about giving yourself grace. I had a little slip-up and didn’t realize one “vegetable” was not Whole30 compliant. I definitely have some things to say about this. 🙂
The best things about this program, and really any healthy dietary challenge that you find yourself in, is finding new ways to eat, new foods you enjoy, and a new way of approaching food. Although you’re not supposed to have a ton of fruit, I haven’t been feeling great the last couple of days, and all I’ve been able to stomach are smoothie bowls. I’m also on the hunt for dragon fruit – looks like I’ll be making a trip to Whole Foods today!
Look at these beauties –
Check out the “treats” section for these recipes! The first one is a Green Smoothie Bowl, and the second is a Banana Mango Smoothie Bowl! (If they aren’t up exactly when you read this blog – they will be up soon!)
One other quick and easy trick for you sweet potato lovers out there… food process your potato to dice finely, heat up your waffle iron and spray with coconut oil spray, then put those puppies in, and let the iron do the work. In a few minutes, you’ll have sweet potato hash browns! Top with a fried egg, and a side of fruit, and it’s a breakfast you won’t be mad at! I promise if you eat this amazing, natural, whole food – it WILL satisfy you. Just keep telling yourself “at least I’m not eating donuts.” 🙂
Welllllllll – I’ve realized a few things after this week of Whole30.
- Preparation is key.
- I eat too much.
- I like sugar – A LOT.
- I eat too often.
- I eat because I’m bored.
- You can’t chew gum, therefore – I brush my teeth more. Win/win.
- La Croix is good.
- I like to cook.
- I don’t really miss chocolate…yet.
- I had a dream about pizza.
- If you can make it through Days 3 and 4 – you’re golden.
As I head into week 2…I think that I need to change a few things. I really need to PREP. I’m creative, so I like to cook and find different, new ways of approaching food. Instead of prepping, I like to make this or that in the evening or even at lunch if I have time, but then I end up snacking on everything I’m making, but I have make some YUMMY things so far…
Breakfast for dinner – sweet potato “toast” with chicken sausage, avocado and a poached egg
Seared salmon with peach, mango and avocado salsa –
I discovered sweet potato noodles at Whole Foods and made a breakfast bowl and then made the Sunshine Sauces from the Whole30 book and stir fry then added chicken for dinner!
Salmon cake with cauliflower mash and brussels sprouts. The mash was AMAZING!!!
So, there you have it. Week one is down. I definitely eat way too often – especially for this program. I’m home, and therefore have access to food ALL of the time, so I need to figure out how to reign that in. I truly believe any time you challenge yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally – you’re going to learn something about yourself. Maybe you learn you eat too often, and maybe you learn something deeper – like you actually CAN commit to something, like you’re actually WORTH putting time, effort and money into to make yourself better. It’s crazy that something as simple as changing your diet can bring out some of the best things about yourself.
If you know me AT ALL, you know I like to eat. You also know that I love sweets, and basically if chocolate were a man, we’d be happily married with 2 kids and one on the way. Another thing about me is that I pride myself on talking to my clients about not restricting their diets, balance, giving yourself grace if you “fall off the wagon,” and if you want that piece of cake – HAVE IT.
Now, my views have not taken a drastic turn, so don’t worry… but as I’m getting older, I’m noticing changes…and things just aren’t as easy as they used to be. I always heard people say that, but I don’t think it ever truly sank in that it would inevitably happen to me. Well, it’s happening.
I’m also not a fan of “diets,” but for some reason Whole30 has been IN MY FACE lately… clients asking about it, fellow musicians doing it… So, I thought – let me look into this, and let me ask around. To my surprise, I heard ZERO bad from ANYONE who has done it. ZERO. I thought – wow. I mean, it’s eating whole, natural foods for 30 days – it’s probably going to be pretty great. It just so happens that I’m doing a Summer Shape-Up with my clients, and gave them the option of hopping on the Whole30 bandwagon. Success in numbers, eh?! And because I’m leading the pack – I decided to start 3 days before they do to report how it’s going. Here’s how it’s going…
Day 1 rocked. I felt satisfied all day, and didn’t miss sugar at all. The “bulletproof” coffee is the bomb.com! All you do is take your black coffee, put it in the blender with 2-3 TBS of coconut milk and 1-2 tsp of coconut oil – blend it up until a little frothy, and BAM – Life. Changed. No sugar needed!
Dinner was also awesome. I invited my friend Liz Derck over who also started Whole30 with me. We decided to have our first and last meal together. I made steak with roasted carrots and brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze and cilantro cauliflower rice. NOT MAD AT THAT. It was delicious. And look at the pretty rainbow carrots! Talk about taste the rainbow…
I have to say…day 2, and it’s not terribly different from how I normally eat, minus the SUGAR. It’s also super fun to find new recipes! I loved the balsamic glaze so much from last night and the “rice” that I made them again (with a little twist on the glaze), with seared tuna. I’m going to post the recipe after I finish this post, so stay tuned! So far, the recipes are super simple and DELISH.
When taking on any goal – I feel like you’ll learn some things about yourself. It’s been about 48 hours, and I’ve learned a few of those already, and also a few things that I think will be helpful if you decide to take this on. Here you go:
- Lara Bars are only $1 at Kroger!! Make sure to check out which are Whole30 approved though – the ones with chocolate unfortunately aren’t approved.
- You can’t chew gum. (I didn’t realize this day 1 – I had a piece of sugar free gum so I wouldn’t breathe dragon breath on my clients, but this is a no-no.)
- Think about what you CAN have rather than what you can’t.
- Be creative! Have fun with your favorite foods. Really everything you love, there’s a way to make it healthy and Whole30 approved.
- If you “need” something like a soda or a draaaank – try a St. Criox. They have tons of flavors, and all are Whole30 approved!
- Trader Joe’s has cauliflower rice in bags!! AMAZING! This saves so much time. They also have a lot of prepped veggies – chopped onions and garlic, ready to sauté asparagus and so much other goodness!
- I definitely have sweet cravings after dinner. It could also be that my special time decided to show up on Day 2… but I’m hoping that the more the sugar gets out of my system, the less I’ll have these cravings. At this point – fruit is better than a cookie.
So, that’s it for now… Wish me luck, pray to the sugar gods that I stay on the train, and come on and follow me on this journey! I’ll be posting along the way, and sharing some of the recipes as well. Here’s to the next 28 days!