Whole30: Day 30 and Picture Results

Whole30: Day 30

We did it. It’s over. It’s done. Anything beyond this point would be our Whole31 or Whole300.

I really didn’t think I could do this. I did this to appease the husband, because he was constantly bugging me about eating Paleo and I’m glad I finally did it. I think I agreed because Whole30 was just 30 days. I didn’t expect to see such a change both physically but also emotionally.

Here’s a list of improvements I’ve had since Day One :

  • Clear skin! I actually felt confident enough one day to go out with any make-up on. It was pretty liberating.
  • I’ve gone down almost two shirt sizes and two pant sizes! I have yet to weigh myself as we don’t own a scale, and I really have never cared what I weighed before, but I am curious though!
  • My left knee was bugging me badly before. Any time I would bend it, it would feel like the worst carpet burn imagineable! I forgot it was hurting about two weeks into this and I’m guessing diet had something to do with it.
  • My favorite improvement has to be that my blood sugar is no longer crashing. I hated feeling “hangy” several times a day and really felt I couldn’t handle my emotions if I snapped at someone during that time. I’m sure my family appreciates this improvement too 😛
  • Sweet Pea, whose 3 months and nursing, is much happier and has nearly zero gas problems anymore.
  • My marriage feels stronger! We bonded over something of mutual interest that didn’t include our kids or a Netflix series, we should totally be doing that more often!
  • While initially this felt like the harder way of eating, it’s actually much easier than before. You literally are just cooking a protein, some vegetables in some sort of fat and seasonings and eating it. Easy peasy!
  • I’m sleeping more soundly.
  • I feel clear headed.
  • I have more energy, but not in the “I’ve had waaaay too much caffeine” sort of way, just in the fact that I actually just get stuff done. Doing things doesn’t feel like a chore anymore.
  • I’ve discovered new favorite foods and flavors!
  • and lastly, it’s sort of empowering to actually complete something! I’m a serial project starter but rarely, if ever, finish them. I actually did this one! I’m proud of myself ❤

I tried to dig up some old pictures, and it was hard to find some with full body. But here’s a progression over the past year. Granted I lost alot weight while being pregnant and  sick and unable to really eat for a long period of time.

About a year ago, right before I found out I was pregnant with Sweet Pea. Circa Sep. 2013. I think I was about 225 lbs here. 

 

June 2013. Right before Whole30. This was about a month after I had Sweet Pea. I was 193 lbs. I only knew this cause I had just visited the Doctor for my postpartum appointment.

 

Here’s me on week 3. I had just gone to an Improving Birth rally and was proud I was in a size large shirt! I can tell a huge difference in my face. I looked so puffy in the first picture! Still no idea how much I weigh. But I’m down from an XXL to a L shirt and size 18/20 pant to 14/16. 

While it’s easy to get caught up in the weight loss of it all, I’m really most happy that my emotional connection with food seems to be disappearing. When I find myself having a sweet tooth, I still indulge but in a handful of raisins instead. It still satisfies my sweet tooth without destroying my diet. If I find myself stressing out, I go take a hot shower, come blog, or go somewhere to calm down, but I don’t feel myself getting as stressed as I once did.

I’ve found that having a hamburger is just as satisfying with a lettuce bun once you get over the initial craving. After you eat it, you still find yourself satisfied even if you didn’t have the cheese and bun to go with it. If you can just push back that craving and instead treat yourself with something “compliant” , you’ll find that once you’ve eaten it you don’t really didn’t miss the “extras”.

I hope I’ve helped either inspire some of you to try this yourself, but mostly I’m glad you’ve let me share my journey with you! Writing about my experience helped me want to succeed even more.

Much love y’all,

-C-

Whole30: The Final Countdown

Whole30: The Final Countdown

There wasn’t much to report this last week of our Whole30. It just seemed like we were living life as normal. Food didn’t consume my every thought and waking moment. We decided to just stick to what we knew this last week. We just planned on eating our favorite meals we had made so far and quit obsessing over it. So everything I made was something I’ve already blogged about it.

As far as how we felt, we felt…well, good! It was easier to just get up and get what needs to be done, done. Things just felt easy going.

I had to order some new pants because it was annoying to constantly be pulling up my britches. I know, it’s such a terrible problem to have 🙂

I also had my two seconds of internet fame when the Whole30 Facebook page shared a meme I had made. Granted, it was shared by someone else but I know I made it!

The hills are alive…

The hubby and I were talking about how our Facebook feeds were always full of people peddling weight loss stuff like pills, shakes, wraps, patches and we’re getting compliments left and right and asked what we’re doing and we tell them were eating a boatload of food! So, I made this meme. The rest is history!

I wish I had more to report, but honestly, I didn’t feel like anything super special happened! I guess, this is a good thing. The first couple of weeks all I could think about was how I was going to survive and just felt miserable and deprived. Now, it just feels normal and I really can’t imagine eating any other way. Whereas before I did this, I couldn’t imagine eating Whole30 style!

I think everyone should give this a chance for 30 days. It really forces you to look at food in a whole new way. It’s sort of hard to put into words. I don’t think I can ever look at food the same way.

I’ll share in another post a list of things I’ve learned this past month. But seriously, buy or borrow the book from the library, join the Whole30 First Timers Group on Facebook, and check out the getting started guide on the  Whole30 website. It’s really not complicated and if you ever wanted to change the way you eat and think about food, I really think this is THE way to be eating. It’s 30 days, what do you got to lose?

Happy Eating,

-C-

12 Random Thoughts on the Whole30

So, throughout the time we’ve been doing Whole30, I’ve had various thoughts about the program, how we’re feeling, tips and other little what-nots that I wasn’t sure how to fit into my regular semi-daily posts. So I figured I’d compile them in one spot. So here’s my twelve random thoughts, tips, feelings, about Whole30. Warning to family and friends, some of these thoughts are little “personal” so you may want to skip number seven 😉

  1. First, I wanna talk about how this has affected my nursing babe, Sweet Pea. She’s been about 3 months old this entire Whole30. Prior to Whole30, she was fairly gassy, cranky, and unhappy. She’d poop explosively, several times a day. While she had no problem gaining weight, she was obviously pretty miserable. Since starting Whole30, she’s night and day better. She’s more playful, calm, and happy. I’m happy to report that she now only poops once every day or two, and is only gassy and slightly cranky 30 minutes or so before she does her “doodie”. I also love starting off lists with a good chat about poop, don’t you?
  2. Second, the next few things I want to mention are the improvements I’ve felt since starting Whole30. I didn’t expect to have such clear skin! I used to get bad “pizza face” a couple times a month and it would take forever for those spots to go away completely! Now, I would almost feel confident enough to go without any make-up at all! This was a very expectant, yet welcome side-effect. (I like getting the gross stuff out of the way first, haha).
  3. I didn’t start this program to lose weight. As a matter of fact, I was slightly skeptical that not counting calories or watching portion sizes and rather eating very large meals would help me lose weight. But absolutely none of my pants stay up anymore…much to the husband’s enjoyment 😉 I’m not sure what I weighed before, and I have no idea what I weigh now, as I’m a tall girl and I had to learn early on to not let the number on a scale determine my self-worth or how I felt about how I looked. I do know that I am feeling more confident in my skin, and I always like a good excuse to buy new clothes!
  4. I’ve said it since week one, but I love how stable my blood-sugar is now. I used to experience roller coaster crashes all day long. I could go from super happy and in a great a mood to #killallthethings in a matter of minutes. Now it’s much more gradual, and I find that when I do start getting hungry I just have a hard time concentrating and my stomach actually rumbles again.
  5. I can now go to sleep much more quickly, and wake up feeling a lot more rested. I have very vivid dreams now too. Almost as vivid as when I was pregnant! The first couple of weeks you dream a lot about food. You dream of bathing in chocolate or cheating on your spouse with pizza and all other sorts of ridiculousness involving food. Eventually the crazy food dreams subside, and you just end up with just normal crazy dreams.
  6. I don’t feel like I have a ridiculous amount of energy yet,  it could be because I still wake up a few times a night with a nursing baby, but I definitely feel more energized than I was prior Whole30. I feel a little bit of tiger blood flowing now that we’re nearing the end, in the ‘I feel I could conquer anything but don’t feel the energy to do so’ kind of way, but I’m sure that’ll come with time. Here’s a great post about what “tiger blood” is all about. I’m just feeling completely content to just “be”, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time.

  7. ***If you’re family, you may want to avoid reading the following..haha*** I didn’t expect doing this Whole30 thing with my husband would have such a positive effect on our marriage, both in and out of the bedroom. Hubby might not have known, but my “desire” levels were nil prior to Whole30. I can tell a huge improvement in the romance department…even if we don’t get to act on it these days. On a non-brown-chicken-brown-cow note, we’re talking to each other more and are bonding over something of mutual interest. I couldn’t imagine doing this without him by my side!

  8. Outside of how I’m feeling, here’s some tips. Before getting started, I would recommend picking a handful of paleo/Whole 30 recipes and giving them a try beforehand. It’ll give you a feel for how things will be and you’ll realize just how delicious it is eating this way. Plus, it helps take away the scary, unknown factor.
  9. I do wonder how families with two working parents would accomplish eating this way. It’s pretty time consuming, particularly in the beginning there’s a steep learning curve, but once you get over that it’s really fairly easy. I would think, you’d have to do a lot more food prep on the weekends/nights than if you didn’t have one parent at home.
  10. It hasn’t been easy eating this way, and getting our kids to eat too. So I’ve tried to read through my recipes ahead of time and see how I could easily adapt the meal to make it edible for my kids. I’m totally against fixing them something separate from our own meals but I’ll still try to fix it in a way that they’ll eat it. For instance, I made this Sweet Potato Turkey Chili the other day, and after browning the meat and before adding the vegetables, I just took a half cup of turkey out and added a little salt and cumin and put it on tortillas with cheese for them. They scarfed it down and the hubby and I still got our delicious chili!
  11.  You’ll learn really quick to always be thinking ahead. For instance, if you need two boiled eggs for lunch one day, why don’t go ahead and boil six? Two for now and four for later. It takes just as much time to cook six as it does two! Same thing with ingredients such a spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, or baked chicken. These things keep well in the fridge and take no extra time to make more for later. Work smarter, not harder!
  12. One of the most difficult things I struggled with was breakfast time. The best advice I got from someone is to call it “Meal One”. While I still call it breakfast, I now think of it as “Meal One”. It makes it easier for me to stomach the idea of savory and previously more dinner type foods to eat first thing in the morning. I now love eating the previously mentioned Turkey Chili for breakfast or salmon patties. Trust me, cause you’ll get sick of eggs really quickly otherwise!
  13. Ok, one bonus thought… but if you’re doubting if you can do this too, you totally can. It’s about putting mind over matter. Quit treating food as your security blanket. It’s really, really tough the first half but now that we’re in the home stretch I really can’t think of eating any other way. Sure I do miss pancakes, pizza, and wine but not as much as I’m enjoying feeling good and feeling good about myself. I was one to previously buy little debbie snacks, hide them, and then eat them all (sometimes in one sitting!). It was disgusting, I know. But it made me feel good, until I crashed 30 minutes later. I never, ever want to go back to doing that and I won’t. I’m done with it! It’s time to find other things that help me feel good, besides food. Like reading a good book, taking a walk, or being sociable again. Will I eat another slice of pizza or a cheeseburger with actual buns again? Duh, this is real life! But I’m not going to let that become my weekly daily normevery again.

I hope you found this little list inspiring or helpful. If anything, it helped me get some thoughts off my chest.

Much love y’all,

-C-

Whole30: Days Twenty – Twenty-two

Whole30: Days Twenty – Twenty-two

Yea, this trying to blog every day is for the birds. I’m really just too busy and am juggling a lot this time of year. So if you’re looking for a Whole30 blogger who has it all together and has nice, neat series with great pictures, I’m totally not your gal. However, if you dig slackers who take awful pictures, you’ve come to the right place!

Here’s a photo montage of what’s been eaten, and happening around here for past few days:

First up, here’s what my month looks like. This doesn’t include homeschooling or housework stuff. Then we’re gearing up for a vacation for two weeks at the end of the month. Also, if you look on the 11th…we’ll have completed our first Whole30! Just 9 More days!

Yea, school is back in session. Life is busy once again!

I’ve read some great Paleo books! I really can’t imagine going back to the way were eating before and we’ll try and introduce some stuff, like dairy, legumes, and certain grains, but if we react poorly we obviously won’t be eating them anymore.

First I’ve read about a third of this book, The Paleo Solution, and it looks like a book that would be filled with nothing but boring facts but Robb Wolf presents this information in a fun to read and easy to understand way.

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf and yes there are cows on my jammies!

Secondly, if I was to recommend just one book for someone wanting to eat Paleo, it would be this one. Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, breaks down information in a beautiful and colorful format. Filled with 30 day meal plans for all the different ways to ‘go Paleo’ and yummy recipes with stunning pictures.

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

I’m still awaiting the actual Whole30 book, It Starts with Food, to be available from the library but it didn’t stop me from starting! You can definitely get started with just the information on their website, Whole30.com . 

We ate some yummy stuff over the past few days though!

Before we did our big grocery shopping trip this past weekend, I was making due with what we had. Sometimes, the best food comes from these pantry raids! Like this here, lemon pepper chicken with roasted green beans.

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Roasted Green Beans

We even broke out the fancy china! Silliness aside, this dinner was no joke.

I just thawed out two boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Sliced a large lemon in half and squeezed the juice over one piece of chicken. Then sprinkled each side with plenty of salt, fresh cracked black pepper, onion and garlic powder. Then I zested the half of the lemon on top. Repeated with the other piece of chicken. I pre-heated a cast iron grill over medium high heat and coated it in olive oil. Grilled each side for about 4-5 minutes then I finished off in a 400 degree oven for about 10 more minutes until my meat thermometer read 165º. I then squeezed a little more lemon juice on it before eating. Yum!

Another pantry raid meal was this here half-pound burger wrapped in romaine and topped with some Dijon mustard. I think it took me only 1 minute to eat the whole thing. The trick to a good homemade patty is to shape it as thin as you can before cooking, and make little indentions in the middle so it will cook evenly. And whatever you do, don’t press down on it with your spatula!

Burger on Romaine Buns

You’d think I’d been drinking with how progressively worse these pictures get, but there’s no alcohol allowed on Whole30. I spent all this time making this plate pretty, only to take a crummy picture. But here’s my breakfast one morning. A couple boiled eggs, apple slices with almond butter, and sliced cucumber with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder. I really love “snacky” meals with a little bit of everything!

Cucumbers drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then sprinkled with salt, pepper, and chili powder. A couple boiled eggs, and apple slices with almond butter.

My favorite meal, and the easiest, was the Skinnytaste canned tuna ceviche we’ve made before. However, we ate it “fish taco style” in butter lettuce leaves topped with avocado. It was the bomb.

Canned Tuna Ceviche “fish-taco style” in butter lettuce leaves and avocado

So while we were doing some shopping at Wally World, I found the famed name Coke bottles. I saw Nate’s name and pulled it out to show him, only to find my name right behind his! It’s like we’re meant to be together! (For the record, as much as I wanted to buy these, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend money on something we never would drink).

Nate+Chelsea = ❤

This post is pretty picture heavy, but I want to share just one more. Look at all this beautiful meat and eggs! All from happy, pastured, grass-fed animals!

Shady Grove Farm Haul

Here’s the run down of what we got:

  • 6 dozen eggs
  • 4 lbs ground pork
  • 3 lbs of sliced pork belly (for bacon!)
  • 3 – .5 lb strip steaks
  • 5 lbs of ground beef
  • 2 – 4 lb Chickens
  • 4 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 lbs of drumsticks
  • 3 lbs of chicken leg quarters
  • 1 qt of pastured lard

It’s all so pretty I almost don’t want to eat it.

Well I would conclude with some thoughts of how we’re doing and feeling, but Sweet Pea is crying and needs me. However, we’re feeling awesome and I think I found a little tiger blood.

much love,

-C-