Whole30 Day 1

First off, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room… I haven’t kept up with this blog as I intended. My bad. Please forgive me. Now let’s move on.

Last year at this time I was 10 pounds heavier than I am right now. One month ago, I was 10 pounds lighter than I am right now. I don’t like that math. However, over the course of the past year, I accomplished several positive diet-related things:

  • I took up running and ran 6 miles as part of a GO! St. Louis Marathon relay team.
  • I competed in a 6-month dietbet and lost 15 pounds overall.
  • I completed 26 days of a Whole30.

Are you familiar with Whole30? If not, check out the website. Basically, it’s works off the premise that food either helps you become more or less healthy; there’s no neutral food. By removing foods known for causing inflammation, allergies or other negative effects on your body (i.e. sugar, dairy, grains) for 30 days, and then slowly reintroducing those foods, you can understand how your food choices help you be more or less healthy. During my first Whole30 I removed caffeine completely since I was dependent on it, which I believe is unhealthy. I ate Whole30-compliant protein, veggies and fruits. I cheated with some non-compliant salad dressing. I lost 11 pounds, felt a LOT better, lost the stomach pooch, and had clearer skin. In the few weeks since, I backslid into my old bad-eating ways and regained 8 pounds, my caffeine addiction, and my stomach pooch.

Today is the first day of my second Whole30. My husband is joining me on this journey (yay!), which will make things either much easier or much harder. I’ll let you know which. This time around, I planned my meals out for the full 30 days, pre-made condiments and salad dressing, and stocked the fridge and pantry FULL of my go-to foods. That’s my best recommendation for anyone starting the Whole30: plan ahead.

 

What I ate Day 1:

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, carrots (oops, I forgot the fat!)
Lunch: Tuna salad (Tuna, compliant mayo, pickle, mustard and egg), celery with almond butter, banana
Dinner: Beef roast with carrots and onions
Snack: Larabar (not encouraged, but it was a looong time between lunch and dinner)

 

Advertisements

My menu (January 20, 2014)

Some friends of mine have recently asked for healthy meal ideas, I assume as part of a new year’s resolution. I think it’s a constant struggle for those of us in charge of meal planning. It takes a lot of time to mindfully craft a weekly menu that is nutritious, works with a busy schedule, is kid friendly, and keeps within a budget. I don’t know that my menus tick off every single one of those boxes, but considering the time and energy I put into meal planning, I thought I would post them on my blog on the off chance it is helpful to other busy moms or dads.

I am listing the main dishes here for five meals. The other meals are either planned meals out, or reheating leftovers. My kids eat taste what I prepare. If I’m feeling kind, I will make a substitute version for them when I know they won’t like it. For example, they don’t like salmon, so I will make them fish sticks instead. I try to maintain a healthy balance between encouraging them to try new things, and being considerate of their palettes. I fail often.

But I digress.

This is what we’re eating this week:

Day 1: Taco chicken chili

Day 2: Salmon, green beans, salad

Day 3: Sloppy Joes, broccoli, apple slices

Day 4: Beef stew, homemade bread

Day 5: Chicken fajitas, side salad

Getting up again

I fell off the wagon, hence my lack of updates the past month. 

Surprisingly, I still managed to lose one whole pound – probably just in the past day when I stopped eating crap and started drinking water again. It’s discouraging when I think of what I could have lost if I had an ounce of willpower. 

Anyone know where to find will power or self discipline?

Clinging to the wagon

I am trying really hard to NOT fall off the wagon. But I am clinging to it by my fingertips.

wagon

It’s been a difficult week with a lot of stressful (in a good way) events ahead.

Sunday was Father’s Day so we had my husband’s favorite meal, which was delicious and sent me into a carb coma. We also went to see Man of Steel and I can’t see a movie without popcorn. And coke. No really, I am physically unable to sit and watch a movie without popcorn.

Today is my mom’s birthday. She lives with me. Also, she went into labor with me on her birthday 35 years ago while she was going out for some birthday ice cream. I’ve owed her ice cream every year since. My husband suggested we go to the local frozen custard place instead of Dairy Queen. I think you ingest 500 calories just driving into the parking lot.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and then Sunday is my son’s birthday. Cake for all!

How is a girl supposed to lose weight with all of these celebrations going on? Not to mention I have business trips and road trips and vacations… Ugh.

OK, enough whining.

In all honesty, I will do the best I can, but life is full of celebrations and carrot cake is out of the question. I’m just going to accept that this journey will be a long one. And I’m going to have to step up my exercise routine to compensate. If you need me, I’ll be at the track for the next three days trying to outrun the calories I am about to consume.

Strawberry and blueberry walnut salad

I ran out of calories last night after enjoying pizza for lunch. And garlic bread.

I wanted to eat something that was both filling and low in calories. I also wanted to avoid the oven since it was still 95 degrees outside at 6pm. So, a lite salad is what I ended up with. It was delicious. It was also pretty sweet, so if you don’t like that sort of thing, I suggest you skip it.

photo-(39)

Ingredients:

  • Greens of your choice. I used a 50/50 mix of spinach and spring greens.
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Handful of walnuts, chopped (aprox 1/8 cup)
  • Homemade strawberry poppyseed dressing (recipe to follow)

I meant to add red onion, but I forgot about it as soon as I thought of it. It would have been a nice addition. Also, grilled chicken would work wonderfully. If you like feta cheese, I bet that would be good, too. I think feta is gross though, so my salad is conspicuously void of cheese.

I made the salad dressing based on a recipe I found on another website. That recipe is for Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing, but I modified it a few ways. If I was eating this alone, I would have swapped out the strawberries for raspberries and done the raspberry dressing. For some reason, my husband doesn’t like raspberries so I went with strawberry.

Here’s my version of the dressing:

Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh* strawberries (or raspberries)
  • 6 oz strawberry (or raspberry) yogurt (I used Chobani greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

*could use frozen fruit instead, but thaw before adding

Directions:

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender. While blending, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Add strawberries and yogurt; cover and blend until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers. Yields aprox 2 cups.

Nutritional Info:

Serving Size: 2 TBS
Servings: 16
Amount per serving: Calories: 97, Total Fat: 6.9g, Sodium: 157mg, Carbohydrates: 8.2g (sugars: 8g, Fiber <1), Protein: 1g

Exercise hurts (Ouch!)

I’ve been counting my calories for a few weeks now and have stayed within my allotment, for the most part. As of Sunday, I have lost 5 pounds in a month. I’m happy with that. I know a lot of people can lose 5 pounds pretty quickly just due to water weight, but history tells me I am not one of the lucky ones. So 5 pounds is something to celebrate.

On Monday, I decided to kick it up a notch and get some good cardio in. My daughter has dance Monday nights a quarter mile from a nice, paved, even, 2.25 mile walking path. So, while she was twirling away in a dance studio, I went walking in the 80 degree weather.

I hate walking. I detest running. I get bored – FAST!

The once-around track is great for me because by the time I am bored, I have no choice but to walk the other half of the trail back to the starting line. I was pretty proud of myself for walking 2.77 miles in 49 minutes. Some people might scoff at WALKING under 3 miles, but since I haven’t done that in almost a year, I felt good. Good enough to ramp it up yesterday.

Last night, I decided to walk at a local park which has a 1.75 mile track around the outside, with additional trails that criss-cross the inside of the park. The walking trails there have hills, are uneven, and are gravel. It twists and turns around gazebos, baseball fields and playgrounds. I only went a little further than Monday’s walk (3 miles), but the difference in terrain plus the addition of some jogging, and I am in pain! I expected my legs to hurt a little, but it’s my hips that are killing me.

Not only that, but I woke up this morning famished! I only had some celery and peanut butter after my walk last night, and this morning I was craving pancakes, eggs, bacon and hash browns. Seriously, it is a good thing Cracker Barrel doesn’t deliver because I would have eatten my body weight in breakfast food this morning if given the opportunity.

But I digress…

My point is, exercise is painful sometimes. BUT, physiologically and psychologically, I feel empowered. And my mid-week weigh-in showed another 2-pound loss so that’s great. I am going to try to get out and walk again today but I might stick to an easier terrain and probably go a little slower, with some stretching in there for good measure. Everyone has growing pains, right? It’s not a reason to quit. I hope that someday I will look back on this after I am able to RUN the 3 miles and marvel at the difference. Hopefully I won’t be craving pancakes by then.

Side note, I pinned this on Pinterest a while back, and found it floating around my brain the last few days. When I look in the mirror after a walk/run, I see a red faced, disheveled hair, sweat monster looking back at me. Not exactly how I imagine myself…

Image

Women are mean

Women are mean to each other. Not intentionally, but we kind of sabotage each other. Here’s a couple of experiences I’ve had recently:

“You’re just gaining muscle”
That’s the biggest load of crap we tell each other when a friend/family member/co-worker/complete stranger mentions that their weight loss has plateaued. We automatically try to make her feel better by suggesting that she’s gaining muscle and that’s why the scale is not budging, or worse, going up. Here’s the thing: how could I be gaining muscle when it’s only been 2 weeks and I haven’t done any strength training? It takes time to build 2 pounds of muscle. The real reason the scale isn’t budging is because my diet and exercise have plateaued. If I tell you that the scale refuses to budget, perhaps say “yeah, that sucks. I tried this new salad that tastes amazing and is only 150 calories.” or “I hate that – I heard about this new exercise move called a burpee that will kick your butt – have you heard of it?” These responses tell me that you understand my frustration and encourage me to try something different to trick that scale into heading the right direction.

“I can drop 5 pounds in a day”
I recently told a family member I had lost 5 pounds in the past month. Her response was the above. Thanks.

“I can’t wear this size 4 anymore, it’s too big on me. I’d give it to you but it would probably be too small for you”
My sister once said something similar to me. It was her own way of telling me that she had lost weight. I’m happy for her. She has worked very hard. But don’t insult me. It’s not motivating, it’s just mean.

What are some of the sabotaging encounters you have experienced?