Thursday, January 26, 2017

#Whole30 Day 18

I'm over it. Yesterday I sat in a meeting where the most delicious pizza was served. I know this because I usually partake in the delicious pizza. Yesterday, I did not. Instead I took a heaping of tossed salad but there were no more forks left. So I ate the lettuce.......with my hands. 

I miss dairy. I'm over black coffee, black tea and even sparkling water is getting old. I miss cheese. I miss feeling full without feeling bloated. I miss normal bathroom trips. I miss not having to be aware of everything I put in my mouth all the time. Did I mention, I miss pizza? 

It is Day 18 of #Whole30. I'm not quitting but I'm being tested. Last night was particularly stressful as my bedroom ceiling began to fall apart. Pieces of plaster and chips of paint were found scattered on my floor and bed. In a pinch I had to clean the mess up, sleep in my living room and arrange for Bronx to go to daycare today so my landlord can fix the damage. Not what I needed on an already stressful week. I felt my typical longing for wonton soup or comfort food OR WINE set it. These moments help me realize what triggers my disastrous food/drink cravings. The whole project is one epic learning experience. 

I'm over it but I'm not finished. I will see this damn thing through. After all, despite the discomfort and missing out on some really tasty but horrible for you treats....the program is working. 

Until next time...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ohhh We're Halfway There...Ohhhh, Living on a Prayer!


DAY 15 of #Whole30. Halfway done. Whew! I'm down about 13 pounds. I haven't cheated. I even went out to my kickboxing studio's member's night at a BAR that I LOVE and I did not drink alcohol. Nope. The bartender hooked me up with an on-the-house club soda with lime and a splash of grapefruit juice to make it look like a cocktail. It was delicious and I was grateful.

Sunday night meal prep is now a ritual. I boil 9 eggs, cut up various produce all while cooking my Whole 30 dinner. This weekend was a great weekend for produce because Acme was having their bag a buck produce sale! I was able to get oranges, garlic, potatoes, steam veggies and more for only $1 each. My wallet was pretty pleased and I walked out with a TON of food. 

This morning we welcomed a new coworker with homemade scones and fruit. I didn't even blink at the scones and helped myself to a nice plate of fruit. Boo ya.

Doing this challenge has made me realized the food I DO miss. I miss dairy...like...putting cream or milk into my coffee in the morning. I miss cheese occasionally. I miss wine. I don't really miss sugar too much, or bread...though a slice of pizza would be pretty great right about now. 

15 down. 15 to go. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#Whole30 Day 10

You are most likely to quit your #Whole30 program on days 10 and 11. The newness of it has worn off, the benefits aren't quite dramatic and you're tired.

Not me. I've lost about 10lbs. I'm learning new things to cook. I am tired though. I cook every night even if it is just a meal for the next day. Lots and lots of cooking. I did manage to eat out twice this week for lunch and remain 100% compliant! #salads

My favorite dish so far was this baked "linguine" dish made from bell peppers, zucchini and shrimp. I've also taken to baking apple slices and sprinkling some cinnamon on them (allowed). I am really tired though and my bowels...well...don't want to TMI but they've been at work. I'll just leave it at that. 

I refuse to quit. I refuse to give up. I refuse to cheat. 20 days to go!

Until next time...

Monday, January 16, 2017

7 Days Down...23 to Go #Whole30

I survived my first week of #Whole30 with only 3 minor cheats (all accidental). The first, I mentioned in a previous post was the Starbucks coconut milk that is not compliant. Didn't know, wasn't that much milk, everything is fine. The second cheat occurred when I went out to eat with my friend David. I got steak and eggs for dinner, a compliant meal with a side of sauteed mushrooms. The mushrooms are typically compliant except when they are sauteed in garlic and butter. Butter is a no no. So to my horror, my delicious mushrooms were drenched in butter. I literally blotted each mushroom on a napkin before eating it. 

The third and final cheat was a oversight cheat. I ordered a Cobb salad for lunch yesterday with my friend. I can eat all the things in the Cobb, granted I should have asked about where the bacon came from/how it was prepared and read the menu better. I said no to dressing which was fine but I failed to notice the delicious salad comes with crumbles of cheese! Not sure what kind, could be goat or blue...but I'm not allowed cheese. So I tried to separate my salad from the cheese bits as best as I could. 

I'm now hesitant to eat out again during #Whole30. It is just too hard to have a perfectly clean meal when you have no control of preparation. Additionally, I don't want to be that person who sends stuff back to the kitchen to accommodate my diet. I have a corporate lunch today an I've already identified what I'm eating and then I think its cold turkey for dining out for me. 

As far as intentional cheats go...I have none. I've stuck to the program faithfully. So far I've lost about 10lbs. I'm learning more about the different foods I can have and how to prepare them, trying to diversify my meals. Last night I had mini turkey burgers with avocado mash, tomato and asparagus. So good! Tonight I'm trying a linguine which is made from bell peppers, zucchini and shrimp. 

I'm also trying to think about how to maintain this lifestyle to a certain degree after Whole30. I don't want to just binge eat all the things I couldn't have before and gain all the weight back. I have to figure out a healthy balance that isn't so restricting (I'm gonna eat cheese) but isn't too far from the #whole30 guidelines because let's face it...this "diet" is totally working. I feel more focused, I have more energy and I am 100% committed to finishing strong. 

So that's the update for now. Everything else in life is fine. Got my oil changed and laundry done this weekend so that was great. 

Until next time...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

#Whole30 Day 4 but really, a Day 3 recap

So far so good. Except for the accidental cheat I had yesterday. Yes, accidental. I read that Starbucks has coconut milk and Whole30 peeps were drinking that with their coffee. As you know, I'm allowed coconut milk. I thought for sure that the Starbucks kind was going to be okay. I was terrified to try the coconut milk so I thought let's ease in by putting it in coffee. Well, it was done. I drank it on my way to work and I got a taste of the tiniest little bit of SUGAR.

So I've only been doing this a few days, but when you eliminate sugar from your diet minus the kind that comes in fruit, you NOTICE when sugar is in things. It wasn't overpowering and it wasn't a lot, but it was there. When I got to work I looked it up and found out that Starbucks' coconut milk is NOT COMPLIANT. Therefore I cheated, accidentally. 

Not going to let that little speed bump derail the challenge. I did not know. Had I known and said "screw it, I'mma order this anyway.".....than yes, I would have restarted. However, lessons learned and whatnot.

Speaking of lessons, I learned I'm eating all the foods and do not have enough foods in storage. I ran out of fruit yesterday and was dangerously close to not having a lunch prepared for today. After kickboxing, I went over to Whole Foods and had a Come to Jesus moment in the store. I've been to Whole Foods many times. I know what they are all about. I avoid them because they are so damn expensive. Well, let me tell you, their produce was cheaper than Acme! Can you believe it? Not only that, but there were so many things in the store I could eat on Whole30! 

I am now obsessed with apple chicken sausages. When I got home I scrambled some eggs and sprinkled the delicious compliant chicken morsels on top. It was the first time since starting Whole30 that I felt really satisfied before going to bed. 

Now I have an arsenal of smoked salmon, cucumbers, chicken sausage, avocado, guac, celery, BANANA CHIPS and more. Om nom nom. I'm going to get through this. 

In other news I've lost almost 8lbs since January 3rd. Cardinal rule of Whole30 is not to weigh yourself during the challenge. I weigh myself twice a day and I'm happy with what I see. Even if I gained a little back, I wouldn't be upset. So I'm breaking that rule all over the place. 

However I am not straying from the rules of the diet. I have not tried to make paleo cupcakes or find a substitute to fries or chips. I'm only drinking water and La Croix and black coffee. I'm only in Day 4 but it already feels like a lifestyle. I have a corporate lunch on Monday and I picked a place that has food I can eat. I feel like I have honest to God dietary restrictions when I'm really just following a super strict elimination diet by my own choosing. Kind of funny. 

If I had a dollar every time I happily exclaimed, "I can eat that!"

It is just the beginning.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

#Whole30 Day 2

I made it through my first day of #Whole30! Woo hoo! I did not cheat nor kill anyone. It was an interesting experience, though. 

First of all, I thought I was pretty prepared for this venture. I spent $91 in groceries and was ready to reap the Whole30 benefits. Then I didn't prep the night before my first day and had to resort to a massive salad for lunch. Needless to say, I was pretty hungry after lunch and as late afternoon went on. By the time I got home I had stomach cramps. Whole30 stresses that you eat when you're hungry, no deprivation. Well, I am going to have to pack way more food to feel full. 

By the end of the day, I was cranky. I was definitely craving some quick carbs. I made a surprisingly delicious spaghetti squash, chicken, tomato, onion casserole last night. It came out great and now I know how spaghetti squash works (it is kind of fun to prepare. I was amusing myself as I raked out the flesh and it looks like spaghetti). By the way, who on earth was the first person to think "mmm, let me cut this orange/yellow gourd in half and rake the flesh out and eat it?" In other news, my dog likes spaghetti squash. 

So by bedtime I was somewhat satisfied, still a little hunger and very irritable. I was tired and cranky. I'm guessing this is a byproduct of sugar withdraw. I'm told it only gets worse. I did however wake up rested and in a great mood, ready to start the day! For breakfast I had a grapefruit and two hard boiled eggs. For lunch I have my spaghetti squash casserole and fruit and baby carrots. Dinner will be a venison stir fry over riced cauliflower. I found some new recipes I'm excited to try for next week including smoke salmon fritatas and an avocado BLT egg salad recipe.  

I'm getting used to black coffee. Today when I ordered it the cashier at Dunkin was like, "Um, you may want to try that. It is black." At first I thought something was wrong with the coldbrew batch...then I realized he thought I made a mistake by ordering the super strong coffee black. No sir, I know what I'm doing. Not sure I'll drink my coffee/tea black forever but I can make it through the next 28 days with it this way.

I haven't mustered up the courage to try the coconut milk yet. I'm dreading it. I don't like coconut and that is one of the main things you can eat/use. Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flakes, coconut this, coconut that. Also sweet potatoes...that is another one that there are six million recipes for. I don't like sweet potatoes either. Sigh. 

Anyway, here's to sticking with the challenge. I think I can do this. Can't wait for the slump!

Until next time....

Monday, January 9, 2017

Whole30 Begins

Today is Day #1 of 30 for the Whole30 challenge. That's right folks...nothing but non-processed meats, vegetables and fruit for 30 days. No dairy, no grains, no alcohol. But all the eggs, baby carrots and cauliflower my heart desires. 

First let me be honest with you...this challenge is expensive. I dropped a whopping $90 on this week's meal plan ingredients at Acme. ACME! Not Whole Foods...but ACME! The cost of produce is pretty steep. I turned down avocados, cucumbers and peppers simply because I could not justify the price. However the spaghetti squash, coconut milk and La Croix waters put a hefty dent in the bill. I was glad to find peaches were on sale as were cantaloupe. 

This challenge involves a great amount of TIME...perhaps my most precious resource. I made the mistake of not properly planning out meal prep last night and was left in a pinch. I boiled some eggs and made a HUGE salad (which I know will be the most unfulfilling thing ever) for lunch today. Tonight I'm going to do things right and make a chicken, tomato, spaghetti squash casserole. That should last a few days a be a bit more hardy. 

I'm also on Day #1 of drinking black coffee. I'm drinking Dunkin's Coldbrew. It leaves something to be desired but I'll get used to it. There is no way I can nail this challenge without coffee. 

I also made a motivational advent calendar of sorts. For 30 days I have tear off post it notes that reveal a reason I'm doing this thing in the first place. My hope is that it helps keep me motivated to finish the challenge. 

My first temptation hit me the second I walked into work. Laying on the break room table were a few long stemmed chocolate dipped candies. It looked like strawberries or cake pops, I wasn't sure. I love cake pops! I gave them a passing glance and went on to cut up my breakfast grapefruit. This is going to be a long and bumpy ride but I'm determined to do it!

30 Days. I can do this. 29 more to go. 

Until next time...

Friday, January 6, 2017

On Track for the New Year

It is January 6 and I'm on track. I know, a whopping six days...woo. But I feel focused and I'm ready for 2017. As you can see, Bronx Brutus is ready for the snow! We got about two inches last night but at least the roads were clear this morning. 

I start Whole30 on Monday. Bye bye dairy, grains and alcohol for 30 days. I hope I can do it! I've lost 3lbs already since I started writing down what I eat and doing twice a day weigh-ins. I wanted a baseline for weight fluctuations but I'm learning my weight is actually staying the same in the morning and night (which is good). Last night I was shocked to see 3lbs gone already. Could be water weight, but I'll take it. Any subtraction is a positive. 

I made a triumphant return to kickboxing last night. It was a rough start but I eventually found my groove. I'm going to commit to going twice a week for now, building up to three times a week. I'm trying to make sure I'm not leaving Bronx every night. He's finally settling back into our old routine! It took awhile for him to adjust to being back in Philly but I think he's okay now. 

Here's to staying on track! I'll be sure to post about the Whole30 adventure starting next week. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sympathy for the Devil


In the final days of 2016, I was walking Bronx down the street and some neighborhood Mummers were testing their giant stereo system that was attached to a truck. The song, "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones was blasting at house-shaking volume. It was such a happy song. I've heard it many times before, but on that sunny day while walking my dog, it felt perfect. Now I can't stop listening to it. I'm listening to it right now. 

So it is 2017! Wow! I failed at blogging last year. With a measly what, seven posts? Sorry. If you read the recap, you saw it was a very busy year. I don't have as much downtime as I used to have. Work keeps me insanely busy and I cherish the few precious personal hours I get after work and spend them cooking dinner and hanging out with my dog. This year will be different...maybe. I'll write more. I promise. 

In other resolutions, I think I'm starting Whole30 on January 9. Why not this week? Well, I have some dairy I need to polish off before I start this thing. I'm not going to throw out perfectly good milk and fat free cottage cheese because I'm trying the Whole30 thing out. So I'll eat the forbidden foods an then begin anew. Things I will have to adjust to: black coffee, no dairy, no grains, and I like beans but no beans OR CORN...WHY NO CORN? haha

TODAY is the day I started weighing in. Every morning and evening this month I'm tracking my weight. After this month I'll be doing it once a week. I want to get a baseline for my fluctuations. I'm not frustrated by the number on the scale. I accept it. It can only get better from here. 

I spent New Year's Eve de-hoarding my apartment. I got my bathroom and office done on NYE and my living room and kitchen done the day after New Year's. Still working on the bedroom and finishing touches in the living room. I've got tons of trashbags ready to go out with stuff I no longer need and some donation bags at the ready too. My apartment feels cleaner and ready for 2017. Bye bye baggage. 

Well, that's all I got today. Happy 2017 everyone!

Until next time....


Sick September A Recap

After an fantastic month of August where all the stars were aligned and life seemed damn near perfect, I entered the month of September with...