Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day.30. -- It Is Finished (since it's Holy Week?)

Whole30: Day 30

Readers.  It's Day 30.  Andrew and I made it.  We had next to no slip-ups.  We were incredible partners in this process.  And we did it.

We celebrated with a Circuit Party at MFF and are nervously (but pleasantly) looking forward to our reintroduction phase that starts tomorrow.  This phase takes a little over a week to see if we have any sensitivities to food groups.  These sensitivities can be physical (stomach ache, headache, joint pain, etc.) or nonphysical (moodiness, fatigue, happiness even, etc.).  Day 31 for us will be the reintroduction of my old friend dairy.

Oh, Dairy, how I love thee.

We'll continue to post about our reintroduction since I've had so many people interested in the process.  But let me just say, that right now I feel incredible.  I go to sleep pretty quickly and wake up without snoozing the alarm much.  My workouts have somehow been easy to the point that I'm thinking I need to reach for the next level of intensity.  My brain has been quite clear at work and in my various classes.  And I just feel...oddly peaceful.  Maybe it's the elimination, maybe it's the empowerment I've found in choosing foods that I promised myself I would for 30 days.  Maybe it's a combination.

Also... man, I have the best partner in the world.  He SLAYED this, kept me on track, and was the dishwasher to my cook (and vice versa) for the whole month.  I'm so fortunate to have found him.

Speaking of which, he says he feels great, learned a lot, and can't wait for some ice cream on our dairy day tomorrow!

No makeup on me.  No love for dishes on him.
Both so proud and excited for Day 30!!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Whole30 Final Week -- The Additional Challenges

Whole30: The Final Full Week

Days 23 through 29 provided an unexpected twist for this gal.  I started the week a bit under the weather, super lethargic, and just incredibly blah.  By Wednesday (Day 25) I had to leave work early to head to the local Urgent Care where they took a bunch of blood, and I passed out briefly.  Don't worry they gave me GATORADE.... ya know, the one whose 2nd ingredient is sucrose (table sugar).

When I pulled it together, I nearly burst into tears that I had ruined my 25-day commitment, but I didn't really have time to wallow because they were sending me next door for a CT scan of my abdomen to rule out appendicitis and get a couple of liters of fluid pumped into my IV.  Ugh.  So the good news was that it wasn't appendicitis or anything else that would send me to the hospital.  The bad news was a diagnosis of "possible colitis or just a stomach bug".  Clearly these are serious medical professionals.  I'm being a little rude -- they actually took great care of me in a quick way, and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the bill won't put me in the poorhouse.

The strangest part of the day, however, was the doctor who let me leave with the instructions to just eat saltines, dry toast, Gatorade, jello, and ice cream when I felt up to it.  I told her about the Whole30 and asked if plain chicken breast and a plain potato/sweet potato would be ok.  Her response was, "I'm sure it will be.  I don't really know much about nutrition."  

So there you have it.  Those sickly days were fairly lean on the food, but aside from the 2 sips of Gatorade at Urgent Care, I stayed on course.  But all of the meals were repeats from before.  And my computer barely came on except when I was working.

Needless to say, tomorrow is our final day.  I'm excited and nervous.  Stay tuned....

Monday, March 23, 2015

Days 21 & 22: The End of Week 3!!

Whole30: Days 21 and 22

As we leap into Week 4 we feel pretty amazing.  But I'd be lying if I said the thought of creamer in my coffee just a little over a week doesn't completely thrill me.  I'll talk more about the reintroduction phase as we get a little closer... I don't wanna get my cravings up for no reason.

Just a reminder...

Day 21
Breakfast: Sausage/sweet potato/bell pepper casserole and green smoothie
Lunch: Salad on the go on 6th Avenue (ya know... 'cause we got hungry walking around, so salad obviously.... who are we?!)
Dinner: Paleo Nachos (there was some discussion about this since there was no cheese)
Snack: Banana

Day 22
Breakfast: Leftover sausage casserole
Lunch: Applesauce
Dinner: Fiesta Lime Chicken and sauteed arugula
Snack: Green smoothie

Andrew feels torn about ready for this to be over and not ready for it to end.  As great as we feel he's growing weary (I totally agree) of EVERYTHING revolving around grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, cleaning up, and then deciding what preparations need to go into the next meal.  It's starting to become 2nd nature to make the right choices regarding food, so it'll be nice in 8 days to be able to just go to the diner, or make dinner, or whatever without reading EVERY.SINGLE.INGREDIENT.  But he is enjoying understanding more about what he's putting in.  So... basically we're in the same place.

This week's assignment in Soul Body System is to slow down (ha).  Specifically we are tasked with eating each meal without distractions like TV, internet, reading, or phones.  In addition to that we should make sure our conversations are not stressful topics and take 5 more minutes than we normally would to finish a meal.  The goal in this is to reduce cortisol levels during food consumption to maximize the nutrient benefits.  I'm both terrified and stoked by this.  I'll keep you posted on how this goes....

Days 19 & 20: Final Surge of Winter 2015

Whole30: Days 19 & 20

Days 19 and 20 were filled with LOTS of work and even more snow.  Yes.  I know.  Snow.  In late March.  I'm completely over this winter.  In addition to so much work, my writing class, my ASL class, my gym classes, and my Soul Body System work, I don't have the quick comforts of Hershey's, Nesquik, NY pizza, and Seamless.  But I'm managing.  I'm empowering myself by making choices I've committed to and I'm feeling great about them.

All. The. Snow.

Day 19
Breakfast: Green smoothie
Lunch: Leftover coconut chicken tenders and apple
Dinner: Turkey burger and leftover potatoes and carrots
Snack: Grapes

Day 20
Breakfast: Green smoothie and boiled eggs
Lunch: Applegate organic turkey breast and apple
Dinner: Chili and sweet potato crisps topped with spinach
Snack: Grapes

The daily meditations are amazing.  Who knew I'd become such a fan of sitting silently and breathing?!  I mean.... I love this me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 18: Claritin Clear

Whole30: Day 18

Day 18 is going beautifully.  I really am so pleased with the clarity I feel.  I do need to up my water intake even more because I've started back with ye olde Claritin (maybe that's part of the clarity) and it has me dry as a bone!!!  I did have coffee today and it was delicious.  Also it's Wednesday!!  That means it's ASL class night, so Andrew came up with a glorious dinner that I was kind of obsessed with and wanted to lick my plate.  He'll definitely be asked to make that again.

This Claritin ad completely terrifies me and yet I also completely get it.  Oh, spring.

Breakfast: Green smoothie and boiled eggs
Lunch: Leftover chili topped with baby spinach
Dinner: Steak (prepared perfectly), baked sweet potatoes (baked impeccably), and sauteed spinach
Snack: Banana and COFFEE (it was quite tasty)

Deepak's daily meditation (see yesterday's post) was just wonderful again this morning.  I find myself looking forward to getting up in the morning to check it out again.  I mean... that in and of itself is a miracle.

Day 17: St. Paleo's Day!

Whole30: Day 17

It's Day 17, and it happens to be St. Patrick's Day -- my 15th in NYC.  And one of my least favorite days here.  The parade diverts traffic for hours, loud bagpipes play from every bar on every corner, but the worst is just the drunk 22-year-olds.  I know I sound like the oldest curmudgeon on the planet, but c'mon guys.  At 10am I'm just trying to get to work on a Tuesday and not dodge you in your drunken stupor down the sidewalks of midtown.  But I digress....it's also a cute day when Facebook shows all my friends' kids wearing green as they go off to school.  So with all the green around the web and the city, I focused on all the greens I have in my diet!!  (You've gotta give me props for finding the silver/green lining.

Breakfast: Green smoothie!
Lunch: Spinach salad!
Dinner: Salsa chicken and broccoli!
Snack: Raspberries (alas no green there)

As far as the Whole30 is going, things are great!!  I like the way I feel and I enjoy the way I'm feeding myself.  I do miss dairy like whoa, but I think I'm setting myself up to be well-equipped to make 10% indulgences once this is completed.

Also I started Deepak Chopra's 21-day Meditation Experience, and it is a SERIOUSLY amazing way to start the day.  I actually wish it was a little longer than it is, so I can totally see myself continuing this as well.  I'm just becoming a right-old zen master -- ok, that's not accurate at all, but I do feel pretty awesome.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 16: A Low-Key Day

Whole30: Day 16

Day 16 begins the second half of our #Whole30 story.  Allergies are in full force as spring is ready to attack any day now (5 days to be exact), and tonight we made it to class to enjoy the glorious Tayte Hanson leadership through really tough burpees, swings, and rows.  (Side note: Tayte is a god among men, a transformative and inspiring trainer, and *might* do legit porn -- only Google him with the knowledge that what you find is probably NSFW.  But we're obsessed with him and his classes!)

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and pineapple (the spinach was BAD this morning, so no green smoothie)
Lunch: Leftover chili topped with baby spinach
Dinner: Coconut chicken tenders, steamed potatoes, and sauteed arugula
Snack: Banana


Whole30: Day 15

Week 2 is under our belts and completing Day 15 makes us halfway finished!  We made it through the first week of headaches, irritability, and last bit of snow for the season.  And we breezed through the second week of figuring out prepping after work, not getting bored with meals, and a final day of pizza temptation.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, chicken apple sausage, and grapes
Lunch: (We took Selby and Sal to the airport for their honeymoon so we napped through lunch)
Dinner: Crockpot roast, potatoes, and carrots (we needed more greens, but it was a lazy day)
Snack: Tomatoes and homemade Whole30 approved ranch dressing

I asked Andrew his thoughts on being halfway finished, and he said he isn't really thinking of it as being halfway done.  If he did a countdown, he'd just think about all the food he misses, when he can eat garbage again, etc.  He's just enjoying the feeling while it's going on because he hasn't had many negatives (save the few times the television or ads in the subway have shown pictures here and there of foods we've cut out).  Also....guys, he looks amazing ;)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Days 12, 13, and 14: End of Week 2!!

Whole30: Days 12 thru 14

Between work and life, we are still SLAYING this Whole30 stuff!!  Andrew has some stuff going on with family and work too, so I'm extremely proud of both of us to keep all of this going.

Day 12
Breakfast: Boiled eggs and apple
Lunch: Green smoothie and a salad
Dinner: Pork chops, natural applesauce, and steamed broccoli
Snack: Banana "ice cream" (frozen banana put through a food processor)

Day 13 -- Friday the 13th

Breakfast: Green smoothie and boiled eggs
Dinner: Hu Kitchen -- Sweet Baby Jesus...if you live in NYC, you must try this place.  It's almost completely paleo and so much Whole30 compliant.  It felt great to eat out.
Snack: Raspberries

Day 14 -- End of Week 2
Selby and Sal are off on their honeymoon, so we decided to send them off with a surprise Aloha brunch!

Breakfast: Homemade sausage patties, hashbrown sweet potatoes, berries, scrambled eggs, and 100% orange juice.  I also made some compliant biscuits with almond flour.  It's recommended that we not do "fake" foods, but after 2 weeks, we thought it would be fine.
Lunch: Breakfast was so big and late, we decided to skip it.
Dinner: Chili (no beans), guacamole, and some compliant but less than recommended sweet potato chips made with sunflower oil.
Snack: Grapes

Disclaimer, gentle readers:  Saturday night I had a MELTDOWN.  I got cranky and sad and when Andrew asked me what was wrong, I burst into tears because all I wanted was pizza.  I didn't even want to go to the grocery store because I would have to pass my favorite Astoria pizza joint.  Through some encouragement from my mister, I finally got out, drooled a little as I passed it, but made the chili.  The sweet potato chips were a sort of compromise on having spent 2 whole weeks eating cleanly but refusing to out and out cheat.  So there.  I had an off evening, but I persevered.

Now we're on to week 3!!!!

Day 11: 2nd Week Hump Day

Whole30: Day 11

Work is pretty insane right now -- we're down 2 people in my department (see here if you're in finance and are looking for a job in midtown), it's time to budget for the entirety of next season, and I'm also up to my eyeballs in renewals for the following season's fundraising.  Oh the life of nonprofit international/national/local televised news programming. 

Wednesday is my ASL class after work, so Andrew took care of dinner for the both of us tonight.

Breakfast: Boiled eggs and green smoothie
Lunch: Applegate organic turkey
Dinner: Salsa verde crockpot chicken and garlic lime cauliflower rice
Snack: Apple

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Days 9 and 10 -- It's A Two-Fer Today!!

Whole30: Days 9 and 10

I took a break for a day... so I'm combining days 9 and 10 into one post!!  I'm starting to get used to this Whole30 she-bang.  Don't get me wrong, I went to a work event catered by Donna Bell's Bakery (this is a common temptation for the southern girl in me), but on some level I had such pride that I said no!!

Here's some things I've learned:
  • I miss dairy more than anything.
  • I can go without caffeine.
  • I'm a pretty decent cook.
  • Andrew is one of the most determined people I've ever met.  He amazes me.
  • My hands need a manicure like whoa -- and I'm doing less dishes than Andrew.
  • I do so much better with everything in life when it's above 40 degrees.

Day 9
Breakfast: Leftover Breakfast casserole and the faithful green smoothie
Dinner: Turkey burger, steamed broccoli, and leftover potatoes
Snack: No snack

Day 10
Breakfast: Frittata
Lunch: Green smoothie
Dinner: Delicious meal made by Selby Brown -- casserole of pork stuffed chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans.
Snack: Baked apple with cinnamon

Ready to kill the final two-thirds of this thing!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day 8: Off To Week 2!!!

Whole30: Day 8

Day 8 and feeling great!  (Wow that was lame...)

Anyway -- The beginning of Week 2 was lovely.  Pretty productive weekend, finally in the 50s outside (which means no more rubber boots for a minute??), and planning for the week ahead.  Plus we made our vacation plans for May, so it's nice to have something to look soooooo forward to!!

Breakfast: Breakfast casserole and the faithful green smoothie
Lunch: Breakfast was late thanks to daylight savings time, so lunch didn't really happen
Dinner: Crockpot Mocha Rubbed Roast and Tuscan potatoes
Snack: Haven't had one yet, but I think I might go snag a banana

Andrew thinks we're situated to nail Week 2.  Week 1 was a dry-run, and now we're ready for the real deal.  I think he's right.

Week 1 In The Books!

Whole30: Day 7

Week 1 is in the books, ladies and gents!  And I've gotta say...I feel pretty incredible.  Forget the good food I'm ingesting, or the caffeine I've inadvertently weaned off, or the the fact that I've successfully avoided the candy bowl in our CFO's office.  Beyond all of that, I'm so proud of myself for DOING IT.  I did it.  Yes, it's only 1 week, but IT'S ONE WEEK.

Breakfast: Potato and Bell Pepper Frittata and... shocker, Green smoothie
Lunch: Another slice of frittata from breakfast
Dinner: Went out for family dinner as my planned indulgence for the week for some delicious steak, broccoli, and baked sweet potato
Snack: Raspberries

In Soul Body System we're supposed to plan our indulgences, so given the constraints of the Whole30, my indulgence was to simply go out to eat with the fam.  I've gotta say watching them eat amazing appetizers that I would typically help devour was so tempting at first, but then I found such empowerment in choosing not to eat it!  I mean, in just a couple of weeks I'll totally join in with the knowledge of how it'll make me feel. 

Andrew, the most incredible guy imaginable, is still absolutely slaying this Whole30 bizness.  While he really wanted the cheesy, bacon-covered french fries at dinner, he held off too.  He made the comment that all 7 of our dinners thus far are things he'll want even after Day 30.  I'm a lucky gal.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Day 6 -- All The Feels

Whole30: Day 6

Day 6 felt better but still emotional on some level.  I had this weird sensation of nothing feeling quite right.  I had a good workout after work, but I was still mad about the cold temperatures.  It's FREEZING out there!!!  I came up with a schedule for the weekend which includes catching up on "House of Cards" and prepping my meals for Week 2 ahead!

Breakfast: Green smoothie -- this is gonna be every day.  So just, yeah.
Lunch: Leftover mashed potatoes and broccoli from the previous night, and some delicious Boar's Head hotdogs that I found with no added sugar or added chemicals
Dinner: After MFF class I made some garlic lime chicken, garlic cilantro cauliflower rice, and smashed potatoes.  Oh, so good.
Snack: No snack today.

Tomorrow will mark one week of Whole30 living.  I'm terribly excited.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Day 5: Stay Away

Whole30: Day 5

 Day 5 was emotional.  The Whole30 Timeline says that Day 5 will make you want to "kill all the things."  I can attest to this.  Everything irritated me.  And the massive snowfall in March did not help.  I can't even CAN as Dakota Johnson and the SNL guys said last weekend.  It's exactly the way I feel.

Breakfast: Green smoothie -- this is gonna be every day.  So just, yeah.
Lunch: I ran over to Food Emporium at lunch and grabbed some of the Boar's Head All-Natural Organic turkey and some raspberries.  It was good.
Dinner: After MFF class led by the incredible Steph Wilberding, I made coconut coated chicken tenders, steamed broccoli, and leftover mashed potatoes from Wednesday.
Snack: No snack today.
Andrew really loved the chicken tenders, so we'll definitely have those again.  He is seriously doing so well, and once again I have to say how grateful I am to have him.
Ready for Day 6...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 4: So Much Busy

Whole30: Day 4

Day 4 was BUSY.  So busy I didn't have time to think too much about food.  There was a train delay in the morning, so I had to take the bus to the E train to get into the city.  Then I went straight into back-to-back meetings.  And on Wednesdays I leave a little early to catch my American Sign Language class -- which I love.  Luckily with a day like that I'm also blessed with the best boyfriend ever.  So when I got home around 9pm, he had made dinner...and it was AMAZING.
Breakfast:  Green smoothie (again...I really should've put some protein with this)
Lunch: Salad with all sorts of #Whole30Approved ingredients -- really good, but I can't keep this up financially.  A good salad blows my lunch budget.
Dinner: Here's what he made:  chicken breasts stuffed with jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro, lime, and scallions.  Also some #Whole30Approved garlic mashed potatoes.
Snack: Grapes
Andrew was also pleased with his cooking efforts and is finding his way through Week 1 beautifully.
Next up: Day 5....

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day 3 -- A Little Late

Whole30: Day 3

Day 3 was grand.  I'm late in posting because we went to see "If/Then" after work, then had Dinner #2 post-show, and then realized my computer was dead.  So I'm updating from work.
Breakfast:  Apple and my ever-faithful green smoothie (I really should've put some protein with this)
Lunch: Salad with all sorts of #Whole30Approved ingredients -- really good
Dinner #1: Quick meet-up at Food Emporium where we had some leftovers from Day 2 of the turkey and bought some berries before we went to the show
Dinner #2: Home for some turkey bacon and scrambled eggs in front of the TV (our DVR is becoming over-run and I STILL haven't seen "The Women Tell All" from Monday night!!!
Snack: Grapes
I brought my own canned coconut milk and added it to the coffee at work -- it was serviceable and didn't give me a throbbing caffeine headache, so maybe I'll do that again for Day 4.
Andrew is absolutely killing this.  I'm super proud and extremely grateful to have a great partner.
On to Day 4!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Whole30: Day 2 -- Lizard Brain

Whole30: Day 2

It's Day 2.  Day 2, people.  Not day 22.  And my body did a HALT on me.  It was like, "um, hey, I'm here and I need GARBAGE!!!"  The Whole30 website says that days 2 and 3 are like a hangover, so this nagging headache and all-around uselessness is completely normal.  I had to get some support from my fellow Soul Body Warriors and coach where I was told how grateful I'll be for this in a week or 2.  So I didn't go run downstairs to Donna Bell's and eat my weight in biscuits.  Even though I kinda wanted to.  In a way I've never really cared anything about.  But I didn't.  Whew. 

I mean... c'mon.  It took some willpower to avoid this when my body was screaming for it.

We did head up to Harlem after work for dinner and fellowship over RuPaul's Drag Race with the Fernandez-Reids and the Console-Browns.  They are amazing and made #Whole30Approved foods for us to share!!  Plus, we got to spend a chilly March evening enjoying what everyone should -- drag queens (I think I'm all about Pearl so far).

Breakfast:  Boiled eggs and my ever-faithful green smoothie
Lunch: Peppers and guacamole; Apple
Dinner: Turkey breast with herbs; sweet potatoes w/ tomatillos; brussel sprouts (ok I only had 2); guacamole; baked sweet potato chips
Snack: Berries

Around 3pm I realized that coffee was a necessity.  So off to Starbucks I went for a coffee with coconut milk.  Man, it was good.  So freaking good.  Alas I just looked up the ingredients in their particular coconut milk only to find that it has added cane sugar.... FAIL, STARBUCKS, FAIL I SAY!!!!  Guess I won't be doing that again tomorrow.  I do have some coconut milk at home that is pure, so I'll try that.  Wah, wah.

WITH CANE SUGAR.  Don't let it fool you.

Andrew didn't feel quite the craziness that I did.  He felt super energized, but he thinks he might be fooling himself and is sort of expecting his lethargy to set in soon.  I have a feeling he's just nailing it and will kill this challenge with his usual aplomb.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Month Of Whole30

Whole30: Day 1

It started today!  I'm doing the Whole30.  I am not doing this for weight loss, nor am I doing this because I'm suffering from major food sensitivities.  I'm doing this first and foremost to make a commitment to myself regarding my health and fitness -- a commitment to honor my body fully for 30 days by making conscious decisions to put whole foods into my body.  And in the process if I lose a little weight or figure out some sensitivities I might have, then I'll have attained icing for my proverbial cake.

Day 1 was a success!!  I mean, it's day 1 though.  I'm still on the momentum from all the grocery shopping and pantry clean-out I did over the weekend (when I wasn't bingeing on "House of Cards" Season 3 -- it's not possible to love Claire Underwood more).  But my hopes are high for a successful month.

Breakfast:  Turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, sweet potato hashbrowns, and my ever-faithful green smoothie (nothing better than drinking some kale to start the day!!)
Lunch:  Boiled eggs and banana
Dinner:  Buffalo chicken stuffed peppers, sauteed arugula (next time buy 4 times as much.... that stuff decreases in size like whoa), and guacamole -- did someone ask for spicy?
Snack: Green grapes -- my favorite!

No coffee was fine for the first day, I hope I can keep that up.  Coffee is "allowed," but I like my coffee churched up, and unfortunately I can't have dairy or added sugars.  I may try some coconut milk later in the week, but right now I kinda liked not being dependent on the caffeine.

Andrew is doing this 30 days of enlightenment with me, which I'm super grateful for.  We do well at new adventures together -- Teamwork!!!  He said that he doesn't feel like he's missing anything yet, and that the meals we had were delicious!!  #success

PS - Today is my Mother's birthday!!  Happy birthday to the woman who taught me how to stretch a dollar, make a casserole, clean baseboards like a champ, and enjoy a made-for-TV-movie with the best of 'em!!  I hope your day has been fantastic!

My mother and I hanging out at The Olive Garden...like ya do.