Thursday, August 28, 2014

Whole30: Days 24 & 25

Breakfast of champions
I can't believe I'm only five days always from completing my Whole30! There's only a 3-day holiday weekend standing between me and the finish line, haha. Let's recap what I shoved in my face over the past two days, shall we?

Wednesday, 8/27:
Breakfast: diced grilled chicken thighs, sweet potato, and collard greens hash, banana
Lunch: Chili over zucchini noodles
Snack: Caramelized coconut chips
Dinner: red Thai curry over zucchini noodles, peaches with coconut whipped cream

Thursday, 8/38:
Breakfast: diced grilled chicken thighs, sweet potato, and collard greens hash, banana
Lunch: chili over collard greens and a baked sweet potato
Snack: baby carrots with guacamole, hard-boiled egg, mixed nuts
A perfectly balanced snack!

Dinner: red Thai curry over zucchini noodles

This week has been somewhat hectic, so I'm really glad I've had a good stash of food, ready to go, all week. I know some people hate eating the same thing over and over, but I really don't mind. Especially since I'm the one making the food and it's all my favorites! Since Sunday, the only food I've prepped is the curry Tuesday night, which literally took 5 minutes, and I mixed up another batch of tuna salad this evening while I heated up the last of the curry. Now I'll have lunch through the weekend, and I still have plenty of chili left as well. I also have a pound of grass-fed beef  waiting in reserves in the fridge, as well as a few veggies I can prep. I should be set on food through Labor Day!

So here's the update on my visit to the orthopedic clinic for my back. First if all, if anyone in Palm Beach or Broward Counties needs to see an orthopedic, I highly recommend Emere in Boca Raton; it's a walk-in orthopedic clinic, similar to an urgent care center, so no appointment needed. I walked in, filled out a few forms, and was seen by a doctor literally within 10 minutes. And I absolutely loved the doctor - Dr. Jace Provo, who is actually on staff with the NBA. He sat down and talked with me, asked what was going on with my back, then performed a few diagnostic tests, having me both stand and lie down to perform the tests. He said that my issues were in the L5-S1 area of my back, which is a common area for injury for crossfitters, and that he was going to order an MRI to really see what was going on in there. And that made me really happy, I really hope that I'll finally have an answer to what's going on with my back. I scheduled the MRI for Tuesday after work, they just need to get approval from my insurance in order to perform the MRI. So fingers crossed that they don't deny me!

I've got another busy weekend ahead; Pilates first thing Saturday morning, then I'm pretty sure I have to head into the office for a few hours after that (it's the last business day of the month). After that, my boyfriend and I will be heading down to Fisher Island in Miami, where his parents have a condo. It's like entering a different world, going over to the island, a nice little getaway. We'll visit with them for a few hours, then we're headed to Coral Gables to catch the very first Gridleague match in Miami! What's the Gridleague, you ask??

According to, Grid is "the world’s first professional spectator sport with co-ed teams that compete in strategic athletics racing. It’s a mainstream sporting league that is fan, TV and sponsor friendly. Each two-hour match features two 10-person teams (5 men, 5 women, one of each being over 40 years old) going head to head in 11 fast races. Grid races are easy to follow and are played with pre-set rules and unlimited substitutions designed to force teams to strategize." My condensed definition? It's a professional Crossfit league! There are 8 teams for the 2014 season, with one expansion team set to join the league in 2015. Miami's team is the Miami Surge, and has some well-know athletes on the team - Talayna Fortunato and Lauren Brooks, to name two. And they're facing off against the New York Rhinos Saturday night! So I'll report back in and give a recap on the event,

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Whole30: One Week to Go!

Buster got all fancy for the occasion

Happy National Dog Day, everyone!

This week is moving right along; here's what I ate today:

Breakfast: mug of zucchini soup, Aidell's chicken apple sausage link, banana
Lunch: tuna salad with carrots and cucumber slices, chopped nectarine with coconut cream
Dinner: red Thai curry with chicken, bamboo shoots and yellow squash

I hadn't originally planned to make the curry this week, but I had all of the ingredients to make the curry sauce in my pantry, so it was just a matter of choosing which veggies to throw in with the chicken. It literally takes 5 minutes to make! I used 2 tbsp. Thai Kitchen red curry paste, a can of coconut milk, and 2 tbsp. of Red Boat fish sauce. Ah, fish sauce...smells like stanky feet going in, but makes the final product so much better! It just adds a salty savoriness that I definitely miss if I don't include it.

I went to Crossfit after work today, and got in some strict press and strict pullup practice. I did 5 sets of 3 strict press (I did 65#), then 1 strict pullup. Then, I did three sets of 3:00 on the Airdyne for calories, with 3:00 rest in between. I got 38, 46, and 50 calories on each set. After the class, I strapped on the pair of gravity boots they have at the gym, and looked like this for a few minutes:

Letting go of the bar to get into the dead hang takes a little bit of courage...

My back had grown increasingly more and more agitated throughout the day (well before I went to Crossfit), so I really wanted to give the gravity boots a try. As soon as I put them on, my spine just felt like it stretched out and decompressed, and a satisfying pop occurred. Unfortunately, as soon as I came back down, my back tightened right back up, and got tighter after I went home and ate.

So I think I'm going to go back to the orthopedic tomorrow, actually go to the new walk-in orthopedic, Emere, that my friend just started working for. I've got to get some answers on what is going on with my back; it's not like I'm in severe pain all the time, but it hurt pretty bad tonight and I'm sick of being on the IR. So we'll see how that goes...

Tomorrow is HUMP DAYYYYYY!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Whole30: Days 19-22

I've fallen behind this weekend on blogging! I was barely home enough to get my food prepped for the upcoming week, let alone log my food. I'll fill ya in on all the details, but first, my food log...

Friday, 8/22:
Breakfast: Scotch egg with Ethiopian cabbage, banana
Lunch: Ground beef with Ethiopian cabbage drizzled with mayo/BBQ sauce
Dinner: Cheesecake Factory Luau Salad minus edamame, cheese, and wontons, with  olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Saturday, 8/23:
Breakfast: grilled diced chicken thighs with collards and sweet potato
Lunch: Chipotle salad with carnitas, no beans, pico de gallo, medium salsa, and guacamole
Snack: Starbucks unsweetened iced passion tea, banana
Dinner: grilled chicken thighs and ground beef with Ethiopian cabbage

Sunday, 8/24
Breakfast: Scotch egg with Ethiopian cabbage
Lunch: tuna salad with carrots and cucumbers
Dinner: Chocolate chili from Well Fed over zucchini noodles

Monday, 8/25:
Breakfast: Mug of silky gingered zucchini soup, Aidell's chicken apple sausage, and a banana
Lunch: Tuna salad with carrots and cucumbers, chopped nectarine with coconut cream
Dinner: Chocolate chili over zucchini noodles and a baked sweet potato
Evening snack: Nectarine

On Friday, I worked until lunchtime, and decided to take the afternoon off. My boyfriend had taken the whole day off, and we decided to head down to the BB&T Center to take in day 1 of The Crush Games, a local Crossfit competition. We ended up staying down there until early evening, and headed across the street afterward to Sawgrass Mills mall. I was getting hangry, so after some shopping we headed to Cheesecake Factory. I was nervous about finding something to eat there, but salads are always a safe bet so long as you sub a few items. I wolfed my salad down!
This is what Whole30 hell looks like...

Saturday morning, I woke up early to head to Pilates at 8, but before I left, I brewed a cup of coffee and sautéed up my breakfast hash to take on the road. After class, I ate on the way out to the BB&T Center. It worked out perfectly, my boyfriend's first heat was at 9:55 and I got there in plenty of time. Some other friends of mine were several heats after him, so I stayed to watch their heat, then headed out to find lunch around noon.
That's my hunk on the far right!
I had googled the day before for Chipotle and found there was one about a mile down the road from the arena, so I headed straight there. The carnitas salad was so good! Of course, I love ordering the burrito bowl with rice and beans usually, but ah well, the salad was pretty good. And I still got to order guac, yum!

After heading back and watching the finals heats of the afternoon, and I headed back across the street to the mall and met up with my little sister for some more shopping. She did all the shopping! But I did grab the snack at Starbucks, which held me over until I could get home for dinner and had some of my quickly dwindling leftovers - I was definitely going to have to make food on Sunday. I ended up just laying low on Saturday night, it had been a long day.

Sunday morning I woke up and went to church, then came home and mixed up a batch of homemade mayo, which I then I used to make tuna salad. I had a scoop of that with cucumber slices and baby carrots. While I ate, I made my cooking plan for the week, and made my shopping list at the same time. After lunch, I headed off to Publix, and was back home within a half hour, ready to start my "cooking wod"!

First, I got the batches of Chocolate Chili and Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup going on the stove, so that once they reached a simmer, I could focus on other things. I preheated the oven and got the sweet potatoes as well as chopped yellow squash roasting. I fired up the grill, and grilled off 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs. I also spiralized three zucchini, dividing the noodles into six portions in to go containers.
I had all of his food cooked up in under three hours! Better yet, I also have the ingredients on hand to make a quick Thai curry this week, which I can serve over the zucchini noodles. So I've got plenty of options that should keep me fed throughout this week!
My fridge, post-cookup!
Today was a typical Monday, but I ended up heading to my parents' for dinner with my family, since if didn't see them over he weekend. I brought a serving of the chili with zucchini noodles, plus a roasted sweet potato. My niece kept stealing bites of my sweet potato! Good thing she's a cutie!

That about wraps up my weekend and Monday, I'm down to 9 days to go on my challenge! More thoughts later this week on what lies ahead and what I plan to do post-Whole30!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Whole30: Day 18

So the first half of the Whole30 challenge seemed to fly by, but this week I've found myself thinking, I'm only on Day 17? I still have 13 days to go?? Time seems to be dragging this week; fortunately, food boredom has not set in yet, and I'm not absolutely sick of cooking (yet), possibly because I do try to experiment at least once a week.

I did a 2-month paleo challenge through my Crossfit box back in the early spring, and it was really successful - I lost about 10 pounds and got really lean - AND I started hitting PRs in the gym. Then towards the end, food boredom set in, I just really didn't feel like cooking up a whole bunch of food every week anymore. It also didn't help that I had company staying with me for a month - company that I absolutely loved having stay with me, but wanted to cook me delicious, non-paleo Southern food. I gave in and let her feed me whatever, and slowly, the weight crept back on and I lost the leanness I'd gained. Then I hurt my back, and it all went downhill from there...

Lean, mean, Crossfit machine!
Back to today, here's what I shoved in my face:

Breakfast: Banana with sunbutter, Scotch egg, broccoli
Lunch: Ethiopian cabbage topped with diced grilled chicken thighs and BBQ sauce, chopped nectarine drizzled with coconut cream
Snack: handful of macadamia nuts
Dinner: baked sweet potato stuffed with pulled pork and topped with BBQ sauce, Ethiopian cabbage, small salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

My boyfriend...he's a total hottie when he wods :D
I'm going to be cheering my boyfriend on in a local Crossfit competition for most of the weekend, so it's gonna be tough to get my food squared away for the upcoming week. Gotta come up with a game plan and then execute when I can, most likely in the evenings! I'll also be taking food along to the competition, so we'll see how that works out. Since I won't have access to a microwave to heat up my food, I'll most likely pack tuna with carrots and cucumbers, maybe a piece of fruit, and maybe I'll hard boil some more eggs. With a lunch bag with a freezer pak, I should be good to go. I'll report back on that later in the weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So This Happened Tonight...

Here, fishy fishy...
Yup, I did it. I made the Pan-Fried Sardines from Well Fed 2 for dinner. Before tonight, I'd never eaten sardines in my life, and when I think of them, they send me back to my high school days. For Homecoming week, we had a grab bag contest where whatever you pulled out of the bag, you had to eat as fast as possible. Sardines and Vienna sausages were ALWAYS in the bag!!

Tonight, however, while the flavor of the fish was definitely stronger than I'm used to, it was not unpleasant, and the light breading of arrowroot powder and spices provided a crunchy texture and flavor that could stand up to the sardines. I ate them over Ethiopian Cabbage, also a Mel Joulwan recipe, and the cabbage had bold seasonings as well. So baby steps, baby steps. I know fish like sardines and mackerel are high in omega 3s, plus they're pretty economical, so I'm trying to broaden my horizons and learn to enjoy them. I would call tonight's dish a success!

The rest of today's food log:

Breakfast: mug of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, Scotch egg, broccoli, banana with sunbutter
Lunch: Ground beef over Ethiopian cabbage, drizzled with mayo/BBQ sauce mix, chopped nectarine with coconut cream
Looks weird, tastes awesome
Snack: Caramelized coconut chips

I went right home from work today and made up a batch of the coconut chips to tide me over till dinner (I get off work at 4:30). I ended up laying on my bed, eating the chips and watching tv, and before I knew it, I'd fallen asleep for almost two hours! I've been averaging only 6 hours of sleep per night, so I know I definitely need to work on that. Food is only part of the equation; your body needs plenty of rest to recover and heal as well, and this part of the equation often gets ignored in today's fast-paced world. I know it's the hardest part for me, and as I get older I realize that I can't function on as few hours as I used to. I'm not really sure how I survived almost six years at Deloitte!

On that note, I think I'll turn in. Good night all!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Whole30: Day 16

Food log:

Breakfast: Scotch egg with steamed broccoli, banana
Lunch: leftover pulled pork, collard greens and sweet potato "strata"
Afternoon snack: chopped nectarine drizzled with coconut cream
Dinner: spiralized yellow squash topped with homemade meat sauce (made by my friend Kelli)

What are Scotch eggs, you ask?
Mmm...tasty little morsels of meaty goodness 
I also like to refer to them as "protein bombs" - it's a hard-boiled egg (peeled, of course) encased in pork sausage, then baked in the oven. Apparently you can find these everywhere in the UK, they're deep-fried across the pond. Hopefully someday I'll be able to taste the real deal, but in the meantime, one of these plus veggies on the side make for a tasty, tasty meal. I made them last night and placed them in to go containers, ready for my lunch (and breakfast) bag.

I actually went to Crossfit this evening! My back has been sore all day, I must've tweaked it a little at Pilates last night, which is a bummer. The strength portion of the wod today at my box was 6 attempts  at a one rep max weighted (strict) pull-up; I was pumped because this is one of only several exercises that I can do and not bother my back. After warming up, I got to work setting out the dumbbells I would clasp between my feet to use as weight; I started off with just a body weight strict pull-up to see how it felt, and it felt great. I then worked in 5 pound increments, up to 25#; it took a few tries at 25#, but I finally got my chin up over the bar! My box uses an app called Wodify to track everyone's times and scores, and I think I had the 5th best weight among the women for the pull-ups! Not too shabby for a scrawny-shouldered gal like myself!! During the metcon, which was a variation of Fran, I rode the Airdyne for 15 minutes, and got some good cardio in. Felt good to be back in the class, for sure.
Again, not me...but this is how I did my pull-ups, except with a pronated grip

I cooked up some more food tonight, including a pound of grass-fed beef and Ethiopian Cabbage from The Clothes Make the Girl, so I have more tasty food to keep me fueled throughout the week. Check back tomorrow night, I plan to get adventurous with my dinner tomorrow!

Whole30: Halfway There!!

I'll keep it short here tonight, because it's wayyyy past my bedtime; I got home from Pilates around 7:15 and then needed to cook some things up for dinner, so I've been running behind all night. I'd been meaning to make another batch of BBQ sauce all weekend, and finally got around to it tonight. I used some of the sauce to make a sort of layered dish, with sliced sweet potatoes, collard greens, and shredded pork. I layered the ingredients in a ceramic dish and popped it in the oven for 30 minutes. It was pretty tasty, but I need to think more of branching out on the flavors and ingredients (I used what I had on hand tonight); I think it could be a pretty yummy dish. I'll keep testing and report back!

Here's my food log for today:

Breakfast: pulled pork, sweet potato, and collard green hash, chopped nectarine with coconut cream.
Lunch: diced grilled chicken thighs, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli drizzled with creamy Italian dressing.
Dinner: pork, sweet potato, collard greens "strata" with BBQ sauce.

I decided to post one halfway point pic, above. Not bad for 15 days, right? And to think if I could exercise at full capacity...ah well, gotta be kind to my body. The ol' back is a little stuff tonight, there were a few movements I did tonight at Pilates that may have been pushing it, so hopefully it'll feel better tomorrow.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Wrapping Up Whole30 Weekend 2

My wingman with the heart of a champion!
I've gotten a little behind in blogging this weekend, but for good reason: it was a pretty action-packed weekend! First, food log:

Friday 8/15:
Breakfast: cup of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup and the last of the Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie
Lunch: pulled pork with green beans and tomatoes with tex-mex seasoning, topped with guacamole
Dinner: bowl of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup topped with pulled pork, Urban Garden omelet at the Riverside Market (more on that later)

Saturday 8/16:
Breakfast: cup of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, one Aidell's Chicken Apple Sausage, banana
Lunch: diced grilled chicken thighs and oven roasted Brussels sprouts drizzled with creamy Italian dressing
Snack: banana with sunbutter
Dinner: pulled pork with green beans and tomatoes with tex-mex seasoning, topped with guacamole

Sunday 8/17:
Breakfast: cup of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, one Aidell's Chicken Apple Sausage, banana
Lunch: diced grilled chicken thighs and oven roasted Brussels sprouts drizzled with creamy Italian dressing
Dinner: sashimi style roll (no rice), kc cucumber-wrapped roll, both with no sauce, I smuggled in coconut aminos for dipping :D

So as I said in my last post, I had two friends with birthdays this weekend, one being my boyfriend. Friday night, I went down to The Riverside Market in Fort Lauderdale to help a good friend celebrate his birthday. The Market is great little local beer garden that also happens to serve great food and has a great laid-back atmosphere. We hung out for about 4 hours, playing card games and eating and drinking.

 Now, one thing I haven't shared up to this point is that I don't drink alcohol, at all, so that probably gives me somewhat of an unfair advantage for the Whole30; I've read many posts on the Whole30 forum from my fellow August 4th starters that the worst part of the challenge is not having their nightly glass of wine. So anyways, hanging out at a beer garden for four hours was no problem for me. I hadn't planned on eating anything, but I ate dinner early, and was feeling a little hungry by the time we got down there, and was pretty pumped when I found they had omelets on the menu that were oven baked with no oil or butter. I ordered the Urban Garden omelet, which had spinach, broccoli and mushrooms: when the waitress brought it out, I cut into it with my fork and was so disappointed when I found cheese inside - cheese was definitely not listed on the menu. So I had to be THAT diner after all! I felt like such a jerk, but I sent it back and they remade it for me. And it was very good!

Saturday morning I was up early for Pilates at 8; it was another great class. The owner of the studio was my instructor this time, she was great and sent me some info after the class for their introductory special for after my LivingSocial deal ends. After the class, I went home, ate breakfast, and loaded Buster up for a trip down to the vet in Fort Lauderdale. Buster had the heart of a champion, he got 3 shots and barely flinched!

Saturday night I'd planned a birthday dinner for my boyfriend at a local Mexican restaurant; about 20-25 of our Crossfit friends came out to help celebrate. After having to send the omelet back the night before, I didn't feel like fighting my way through the menu, so I ate before we went. It was definitely hard to avoid the chips, salsa and guac!! But I stayed strong and had a great time with good friends.

Today, I got up and went to church, went out to my parents' for a quick trip to see my niece and nephew after church, then came home and straightened up the house a bit in the afternoon. My boyfriend came over in the early evening, and we went to Lemongrass, an Asian bistro in Boca. I ordered two rolls, one was called a "sashimi-style" roll that included tuna, salmon, cucumber and asparagus (wrapped in seaweed), then a cucumber-wrapped roll that also had tuna and salmon and some veggies. I smuggled in some coconut aminos to use in place of soy sauce, the sushi was delicious. 

After dinner, we walked across the street to a self-serve froyo shop. While my boyfriend filled his cup to the brim with four different kinds of froyo and then topped it with coconut, white chocolate chips, and sprinkles, I had just fresh fruit from the topping bar. It was a good cap to a great weekend.

I can't believe that I'm already two weeks in to my Whole30; tomorrow marks  the halfway point! I took pics on Day 1 (which I haven't shared yet), and I'm planning to take some more tomorrow, and then on Day 30. I've also got some new recipes to test in the hopper, I'll definitely be posting more about that later in the week. So if you've grown bored by my eating the same thing day after day, hang in there, new material is on the way!
What the what?!?

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Whole30 Day 11

Well we're cruisin' towards the weekend, folks! Eleven days down, and I'm feeling pretty good!
This is me...feeling good

Other than the breakouts I mentioned yesterday, the only symptoms I've noticed this week has been a little bit of, um, tummy problems late in the afternoon; it could be from the raw veggies I've been eating (or my body still adjusting to all of the veggies in general). It's not bad, though - actually, kinda reminds me of being in India four years ago; I'd eat the western (American-style) buffet breakfast at the hotel each morning, mainly eggs, toast, coffee, etc. It was like clockwork, I'd eat the breakfast, and within a half hour or so, I'd have to make a quick run to the bathroom, but then I'd be ok. I always said I could eat all of the sketchy Indian street food I wanted and would be fine, it was the American food that got me! Ok, TMI time is officially over...

So, today's recap:

Breakfast: Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie, chopped nectarine with whipped coconut cream

Lunch: Diced chicken thighs, collard greens, and sweet potato hash; baby carrots with ranch dipping sauce

Dinner: Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup topped with pulled pork
Simple yet filling meal

I've been starting to run low on food, so before I left for work this morning, I put a pork loin rubbed with chili powder, cumin, and paprika into my trusty crock pot. I love when I get home from work and have a meal waiting for me; the kitchen smelled so good! Once I got home, I quickly chopped up the ingredients for the soup and got that simmering on the stove; an hour later I had dinner ready and it barely took 5 minutes of prep. I try to use my crock pot at least once a week, and it really is such a timesaver. And now I have plenty of soup to sip on my way to work in the morning for the next few days!
Add caption

This weekend should be a pretty big test of my resolve, as it's my boyfriend's birthday weekend, and we're planning a big dinner Saturday night with our friends at a local Mexican restaurant. My plan is to eat before I head to the restaurant, and maybe just order a salad or something similar. The meal I usually eat there is paleo, but may not be Whole30 compliant. I could grill the waitstaff, but I hate being a difficult diner :) I also have another friend that is celebrating his birthday tomorrow night at a popular local beer market; the beer won't be a problem (I don't drink alcohol at all), but the market is known to have tasty food as well. Again, I'll probably eat before heading there, and hopefully I'll have the will to stay strong!

That's it for now! Any of my readers doing a Whole30 now? I'd love to hear about some of your experiences, meals, or gripes, feel free to share in the comments!

One-Third of the Way There!

Today was Day 10, officially a third of the way through my Whole30! I did a much better job today of eating enough fats and protein, and felt satiated most of the day as a result.

Breakfast: Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie (I literally can eat the same thing for a week straight, can you tell?), chopped nectarine drizzled with whipped coconut cream.

Lunch: ground beef, green beans and tomatoes with tex-mex seasoning and a dollop of guacamole.

Afternoon snack: banana and small handful of macadamia nuts.

Dinner: at a friend's! My friend and her husband started their Whole30 on Monday, so she invited me over for a big pot of chili; I brought my spiralizer and we ladled the chili over zucchini noodles. It was so good! I also brought a jar of the ranch dressing I'd made over the weekend, and we had a nice crudité platter as well. Entertaining Whole30 style!!
I ate it too fast to take a picture, whoops

If you've never heard of a spiralizer before, you're missing out - you can use it to turn all sorts of veggies into noodles. Zucchini is probably the veggie I spiralizer the most - I use them in curries, soups, pad Thai, topped with pesto or tomato sauce, etc. I also really like sweet potato noodles too.
The spiralizer - a must-have in any Paleo kitchen!

I also went back to my Crossfit box tonight! I definitely did not do the wod, but practiced my strict pull-ups for about ten minutes, then rode the Airdyne for 20 minutes. It was good to see my friends from the box, I miss the sense of community when I stay away. I probably won't get back to the box until next week, but it's nice to know I can get in there and get some cardio in, even when I'm taking a break from the wods.

So far,I really haven't had too many of the "symptoms" a lot of people experience when doing a Whole30; I had a slight headache on Day 1, and was a little sleepy throughout the first week, but that was about it. However, I noticed today that I have a few breakouts on my face :( I'm hoping this is just my body working the toxins out, I don't need to be looking like a teenager!!

Ok, that's it for tonight, we're on the downward slide towards the weekend!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Whole30 Day 9

Recap of today's meals:

Breakfast: Square of Almost 5-ingredient Spaghetti Pizza Pie, banana

Lunch: Diced grilled chicken thighs, collard greens, and sweet potato hash sautéed with diced onions and Well Fed 2's Sunrise Spice

Dinner: Deconstructed Hamburger Salad, baked sweet potato

I had dinner with my family tonight, so I brought along the fixings for the hamburger salad. My family was very curious! I also had a handful of nuts later in the evening. All day I had this feeling as if I wasn't eating enough; I was hungry several times throughout the day, and it felt like it took my dinner forever to hit bottom. More protein and more fat on the menu for tomorrow, for sure.

I'm happy to report that my back is still feeling pretty awesome after last night's Pilates class, which makes me feel like I'm moving in the right direction. I'm also hoping that the Whole30 is also playing a part - by removing inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, and grains, I'm helping to heal the inflammation in my back. It's amazing how we feel is so closely intertwined with the nourishment we put into our bodies!

That's about it for tonight, hopefully I'll have more interesting foods to report back tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kicking Off Whole30 Week 2!

No, I did not perform this move today...
First, a quick recap of what I ate:

Breakfast: the last of the Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup (tear!), a banana, and a square of the Almost 5-Ingredient Spaghetti Pizza Pie.

Lunch: Diced grilled chicken thighs with green beans and tomatoes, seasoned with my tex-mex blend and a dollop of guacamole.

Afternoon snack: Baby carrots and cucumber slices with paleo ranch dressing for dipping.

Dinner: Went to the boyfriend's after Pilates, and he graciously shared one of his paleo meal delivery meals - grilled pork tenderloin and steamed cauliflower. Not the most flavorful meal, but beggars can't be choosers!!

So back to the Pilates...I had my first session in about 6-7 years tonight! The class ended up being a semi-private, only one other woman in the class besides me. The classical movements came back to me fairly easily, but that doesn't mean they weren't challenging - my inner thighs were on fire during a few of the holds! For those of you unfamiliar with Pilates, the practice was originally created by Joseph Pilates (hence the name) for injured dancers; the foundation of the practice is to strengthen the core muscles.

Mat Pilates, which, as the name suggests, is performed solely on a mat, shares some similarities to yoga. Pilates that is performed with equipment - the Reformer (which is the equipment in the picture above), Tower, Chair, or the Cadillac - is a very unique practice. Most classes either center around one piece of equipment, like the Reformer class I took tonight, or is a circuit class, in which the participant rotates through each piece of equipment throughout the class. Through the use of pulleys and springs, the participant uses his or her own body weight to strengthen and lengthen different muscle groups.

Pilates is a much gentler practice than the Crossfit I've been doing for two and a half years, and I think it's what my body has been asking me for (even If I do miss being completely wiped out by a workout). After class, I actually felt like my back felt more elongated, and it's felt pretty good all evening. I really want to get back to a second class this week, if I can work it out with the class schedule. We shall see!

That's about it for today - oh wait! I joined the Whole30 forum, August 4 start group, so if any of you are stopping by from there...thanks for stopping by, and let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Whole30 Weekend 1 Draws to a Close

I did it! I made it through my first weekend on the Whole30, and I even ventured out to eat, twice today! First, I have to share my delicious meal from last night:
Surprisingly delicious!

This was my riff on Well Fed 2's Deconstructed Hamburger Salad, and Mel Joulwan wasn't kidding when she exclaimed, "Holy sh*! this is good!" For my version, I sautéed onions, browned ground beef and added chopped dill pickles to the baby kale leaf salad dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. I also drizzled a mix of homemade mayo and tangy BBQ sauce over top. So good!!

This morning, I had a cup of silky gingered zucchini soup and a banana for breakfast before heading off to church (I ran out of time for protein, whoops). After church, my sister and I joined a friend for lunch at Offerdahl's, a local cafe; I ordered my usual, Jonny's house salad with grilled chicken, but nixed the chickpeas, raisins, and feta cheese, and subbed olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the very yummy (and most likely sugar-laden) house vinaigrette.

My boyfriend came over late afternoon, and we rode our bikes over to the beach. We decided to stop in at The Whale's Rib, a well-known local spot that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, known for their seafood. I ordered a spinach salad topped with blackened dolphin (mahi), and dressed it again with olive oil and balsamic. I was pretty proud of myself, though, for eating out twice in a day and sticking to the Whole30 guidelines, woohoo!

I ended up eating a baked sweet potato topped with diced grilled chicken drizzled with sun butter later in the evening, because we ate at Whale's Rib around 5:30. And that about wraps up my weekend! Here's to another good week!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Whole30 Day 5 (and part of 6)

The tail end of my first cookup
Even though I haven't reached the end of Week 1 of my Whole30, it still feels like I've accomplished something just by reaching the weekend! As I said in my last post, I was starting to run low on the food I'd cooked up last Sunday, so I knew an after-work shopping trip was in store for the start of my weekend. But first, a recap of the first two meals of yesterday...

For breakfast, I had another mug of the silky gingered zucchini soup, then three scrambled eggs and a banana once I got to work. For lunch, I'd packed a baked sweet potato stuffed with collard greens and pulled pork, which I topped with tangy BBQ sauce. If you've never tried a baked sweet potato stuffed with BBQ pulled pork, you really need to try it!!

My grocery haul included chicken thighs, pork tenderloin, Italian sausage, NY strip steaks, spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cherry tomatoes. I try to buy what's on sale for the week, but the bill still came to over $100 (I did have to stock up on a few staples as well). Ah well, it's a small price to pay for better health, right? I went home and got to work cooking up at least a few of the items: I grilled up the chicken thighs and roasted the spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes, and put my homemade Montreal steak seasoning rub on the steaks. Speaking of the spaghetti squash, have you ever seen one this huge??
Splurge meal for a week well done
I threw one of the steaks on the grill and had that along with one of the sweet potatoes and some broccoli I steamed for dinner. After dinner, I whipped up some super easy 30-Second Mayo from The Paleo Kitchen; I actually made a double batch, because I had plans to use some for dipping sauces...Mmm....
Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie

Speaking of plans, that spaghetti squash I'd roasted earlier? After dinner, it got turned into PaleOMG's Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie, along with the sausage I'd bought at Publix. I actually like to eat it for breakfast, which is exactly what I ate this morning, along with a mug of the silky gingered zucchini soup. For lunch, I made a salad of baby kale, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and diced grilled chicken thighs. I used a half cup of the mayo I made to make a double batch of Well Fed's Paleo Ranch Dressing, and drizzled a few spoonfuls on my salad. So good!
Easy tossed salad with paleo ranch dressing

I'm almost halfway through the weekend, meal wise, and I'm still staying strong at eating right! Here's to hoping it stays this easy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm Too Sexy For My Shorts....

Check these bad boys out! The orthopedic doctor gave them to me to wear for my consultation today, and I even got to keep them! SCORE!! Haha, at least I didn't have to put on one of those paper gowns, right???

Speaking of my ortho appointment today, the doctor wasn't able to pinpoint what's wrong with my back; he took x-rays, which were normal, and I don't have pain radiating down into my legs (and I never have), so he's confident it's just a strain that has been prolonged by continued use. The doctor gave me three options for right now: 1.) prescription painkillers and/or muscle relaxers, 2.) physical therapy, or 3.) injections. I asked the doctor if Pilates could be used as a sort of physical therapy, because a former colleague of mine had been prescribed Pilates as physical therapy for back pain, plus Pilates was originally designed for injured dancers. He said I could definitely try it, and we agreed on a month, and if I'm still hurting after that, I'll go back. I walked out disappointed that I still didn't have an answer, but maybe I should've been a stronger advocate for myself and asked for an
MRI. I've been thinking about the Pilates option for awhile, though, and I'm looking forward getting back into the practice. It's probably been about seven years since I last did Pilates! How did I get so old?!?

I'll be brief in summarizing my meals for today, because it's more or less what I've eaten the other three days this week. For breakfast, I sipped a mug of silky gingered zucchini soup on my drive to work, then had the grilled chicken, collards, and sweet potato hash once at work. For lunch, I had leftover beef and jicama home fries. I had a banana mid-afternoon, and for dinner I had pulled pork with green beans and tomatoes with tex-mex seasoning. I also had a handful of nuts around 8:30 this evening.

I'm going to have to do some grocery shopping after work tomorrow, because my food levels are getting dangerously low! As of right now I have about one serving left each of the grilled chicken and pulled pork, a decent amount of collard greens, one sweet potato, baby kale, baby carrots, and a cucumber. And eggs. I always keep plenty of eggs in the fridge! I'll be introducing a few different recipes into the rotation over the next 4-5 days, because I definitely don't want to run into food boredom!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Whole30 Day 3

Day 3 is drawing to a close, and I'm feeling pretty good. I had a headache Monday evening, presumably from sugar withdrawal, but since then have felt ok. The hangover phase is over, hooray! Let's see if I become cranky and irritable in the next few days - there's a definite timeline to the challenge, it's documented here.

You'll notice that I tend to eat the same things over and over, with a few variations. I made my breakfast hash again this morning, plus I sipped a mug of the silky gingered zucchini soup on my drive to work. I had pulled pork with tangy BBQ sauce and oven roasted broccoli for lunch, and a late afternoon snack of 2 hard-boiled eggs, carrots and cucumbers.

When I got home from work, I was craving some healthy fats, so I made some Caramelized Coconut Chips from Well Fed. They hit the spot! I love the slightly salty, slightly sweet, crispy texture. After my snack, I finished cooking the jicama home fries that I'd soaked overnight, then threw in some ground beef to make hash. A bowl of that plus some carrots, broccoli, and Dijon vinaigrette made for a tasty dinner.
Mmm...Caramelized coconut chips
Beef and jicama home fry hash

You might have noticed that I haven't mentioned anything the past two days about my exercise/training; it's not because I'm just leaving it out. I've been dealing with lower back pain for the past four months, since the end of the Crossfit Open at the end of March. I honestly don't remember exactly when I injured myself, but it was the 14.4 workout: 60 calorie row, 50 toes to bar, 40 wall balls, 30 power cleans, and 20 muscle-ups. I made through half of the power cleans before the time cap. The following week I began noticing pain in my lower back, but it wasn't that painful at that point. A week after the end of the Open, I began attending Barbell Club, which I loved. I PRed the majority of my lifts during the first week, but went easy on the deadlifts because my back was still tight. As the weeks went by, it became harder and harder to perform some of the lifts, especially front squats, cleans, and eventually deadlifts.

I finally stopped working out around Memorial Day weekend, taking over a month off from any exercise, and began seeing a chiropractor twice a week. Ultimately, the sessions did little. It did start to slowly feel better, so I began going back to the box in early July, and severely limited what exercises I did. For awhile, it was only strict press, bench press, strict pull-ups, and the airdyne, but eventually I added in rowing and a few other exercises. But when I was in Chicago, I dropped in at two local boxes, and definitely tried to do too much (we did Fran at the second box, definitely not a good idea). Add to that an alumni volleyball game last week, and my back was killing me all over again. I decided on Monday to finally see an orthopedic doctor, and my appointment is tomorrow morning. So we'll see how that goes. I hate being sedentary, but I need to heal my back and get past this.

That's it for now, tune in again tomorrow for a rehash of what I shoved in my mouth for another day! And hopefully an update on my back!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Mission: Whole30!!

So it's been almost four years since my last post, and there's been some changes in the past four years.  Two and a half years ago, I drank the Crossfit kool-aid and have been hooked ever since. Along with the new workout regimen, I've followed the Paleo diet on and off for the past two years, with success - I lost 20 pounds during spring/summer 2012 - as long as I stay on the diet....

...Which brings me to the here and now; I've committed to doing a Whole30 challenge. The Whole30 and eating paleo have a lot in common, but the Whole30 is a "tough love" approach for 30 days - no sweeteners of any kind, no scales, and if you cheat or slip, you have to start over. I've been off the paleo wagon now for several months, and was definitely off while in Chicago two weekends ago (read: deep dish pizza, cupcakes, donuts!!). So a clean-up/reboot is definitely what I need right now! For more info on the Whole30, head on over to - they've got a ton of information, resources, and testimonials.

So I actually started my challenge yesterday, August 4th; I could've claimed the 3rd as my start date, and then I ate popcorn and diet soda as a snack Sunday night :( So August 4th it is! 

Yesterday I started my day with a "hash" of diced grilled chicken thighs, Italian green beans, and tomatoes. Now, you might think that's an odd choice for breakfast, but here's the thing: when you're eating paleo, if you think of breakfast in the conventional way, you're gonna burn yourself out on eggs. So I've gotten used to eating more savory dishes for breakfast. I seasoned the hash with what I like to call my tex-mex spice blend: garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Yum! This particular hash is also delicious topped with a dollop of guacamole, but sadly I didn't have any. :(
"Mexican Fiesta Bowl" - unfortunately this time, I was out of guac!

For lunch, I brought some pulled pork topped with Tangy BBQ sauce from PaleOMG

's "The Paleo Kitchen", and some oven roasted broccoli. FYI, I cooked up all of this food on Sunday - I follow Melissa Joulwan's ( Weekly Cookup method and try to prep as much food as possible for the week on the weekends. I grilled chicken thighs, cooked a pork loin in the crock pot, browned ground beef, roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli, and made the tangy BBQ sauce. Phew! 

I was craving some eggs for dinner, but wanted more protein than that, so I sautéed some onions and threw in some of the ground beef, then scrambled in the eggs with that. Strange, I know. I made a salad with baby kale greens, carrots, and cucumbers with a Dijon vinaigrette to go with it. While I was making dinner, I also hard-boiled some eggs to have on hand for the week. I'm trying to stay away from nuts as much as possible while doing the challenge, because I tend to snack on them and overeat; hard-boiled eggs make a great easy snack. I actually had two today, along with some baby carrots and sliced cucumbers. Yum.

Let me backtrack a bit, since I skipped breakfast and lunch today and went right to snack time. I mixed up my all-time fave hash for breakfast: diced grilled chicken thighs, sautéed with minced onions, collard greens, diced sweet potatoes, and Mel Joulwan's Sunrise Spice blend from her book, Well Fed 2 (she actually posted the recipe for this spice blend to her blog today!). For lunch, I had browned ground beef with the green beans and tomato mixture, with the tex-mex spice blend. And I already told you about my afternoon snack. I did have a banana late morning as well.
My fave breakfast hash

After I got home from work, I decided to make Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup from Well Fed 2; it's one of my favorite soups to make because it's so easy, and just like Mel Joulwan, I enjoy eating it for breakfast (can you tell I love her blog, books, and recipes?). I also chopped up a jicama and put it in the crockpot for its overnight soak to make jicama home fries (also from Well Fed). Once the soup was done, I ladled myself a bowl and added some shredded pork for protein. I had a nectarine later in the evening as well.

So that's my recap of days 1 and 2 of my first Whole30! I'm hoping that by resurrecting this blog, I can keep myself accountable and log my meals as accurately as possible.