Whole 30 Adventure

Hello! I’ve been gone a while, adjusting to life with two little ones. And can I just say, there is definitely a learning curve going from one child to two! Also, since I’ve been gone, my husband and I have decided to really kick things into gear health-wise. First challenge: Whole 30. What is this, you may ask? Check it all out at Whole 30. The basic idea is that you cut out all “bad” foods (things that could be causing health problems, bloating, etc) and feed your body with good, whole foods for 30 days in the hopes of “resetting” your body. Many people have overcome health issues that they thought would plague them for life, so we were really interested in trying it. On this “diet”, you can eat unprocessed meats, eggs, fish/seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts/seeds (no dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, beans etc.). Sound restrictive? It is, but I’ve found that there are a lot of good things we can eat, I just have to get creative!


The Trial Run

We tried starting the 30 days April 1st, and for a week did really well. Then we realized that since we were going to be gone for over a week (hubby on a work trip and myself and the kids going out of town), that we probably wouldn’t be able to stick to the plan while we were away. That being the case, we restarted our 30 days this past Tuesday. So far so good for me! If you poke around on the internet, you will find that you will go through stages during your 30 days due to food withdrawals. I’m not sure if I have felt these symptoms seeing as I already feel pretty gross due to lack of sleep (yay for having a newborn around again!), but I’m sure I will feel some symptoms eventually. This time around, my hubby’s parents are joining us in the challenge. Their lives are a little busier than mine, so its definitely more difficult to come up with food items that can be grabbed in a hurry. That being said, there IS hope! I want to share with you some great recipes I have found while preparing for this challenge; recipes that will make you forget you are eating super healthy.

Where to Start

First off, clear your panrty and fridge of all things NOT allowed on this diet. This is key; “out of sight, out of mind” really rings true here. Secondly, find some great recipes! There is some really great advice on the blogs What I Wore and The Clothes Make The Girl, so make sure to check both of them out. For breakfasts, its eggs, eggs, and more eggs. Many Whole30 veterans recommend just looking at your day with “meal 1, 2, and 3” in mind instead of “breakfast, lunch, dinner”. A good idea, but I find myself still wanting breakfast type foods in the morning (no 8 am pork chops for me-ha!).

Three Daily Meals

I get bored with eating the same thing every day so I bounce back and forth between scrambled and fried eggs. I usually pair it with some fruit and like to also add some homemade hashbrowns; I have to eat a big breakfast these days I feel faint; nursing a baby football player is no silly business (seriously, he is only 2 months old and already 16lbs!). Lunches are typically salads with plenty of protein mixed in. Dinners have been what’s changed the most around here, but I have found some super flavorful meals that fit the bill. The big thing is that you make sure to eat a ton of veggies on the side to make sure that your stomach feels full. I know I have a long way to go, but I’m excited to see what this month brings. I am finally on board to becoming a healthier person and it feels great! I will definitely keep you updated this month on both how I’m feeling and what recipes/resources I find.

Have you completed the Whole30 challenge? If so, what advice do you have for the newbies? If not, seriously give it some thought; it could change your life 🙂

 Some Recipe Ideas

Kale, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, sunflower seeds, brussel sprout salad

Olive Oil Mayo

Morrocan Dipping Sauce

Sunshine Sauce (haven’t tried this one yet but am dying to try it! Waiting on obtaining one ingredient then I can try this deliciousness)

Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update

At the end of August I did something crazy: I signed up for a half marathon. Why is this so crazy? Well, because it’s 13.1 miles. That’s a long way and I hate running. No, seriously, I hate it. Even more than five months into training later, I hate still it. I’m still only able to run a little over a mile before I need to walk for a minute.

image1 (1)This training has taught me a lot, though. I’ve learned more about myself and my physical capabilities than I ever before. I’ve learned time and time again that my body is strong. It’s stronger than I knew. My original goal was just to finish the half marathon. Now, I can maintain a pace and set a time goal. Continue reading “Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update”

5 Ways to STAY Committed to Your Fitness Goals

Raise your hand if you’ve said to yourself, “I’m going to exercise, eat better, lose weight and be healthy.” I would wager that the vast majority of you reading this right now would raise your hand.

“You have to be healthy, slim, beautiful, fast, swift, chiseled, ripped or toned to be beautiful and happy” is the uncontested message global (that’s right, not just American) media propagates to the world. “If you’re not just like this model, you have a lot of work to do.” Who’s been there? I have.

Marathons are all smiles when you're no longer running them.
Marathons are all smiles when you’re no longer running them.

I would bet even MORE money that those of you who initially raised your hand would also raise our hand if I asked, “Who among you has QUIT a fitness/health program?” It’s sad, but true. Statistics show that more than half the people who begin a fitness program will quit within the first three months. There are many reasons why they quit. They:

  • Don’t see results
  • Go too hard, too fast and burn out
  • Set unrealistic goals or expectations
  • Restrict too heavily and become ill
  • Aren’t interested in/excited by what they’re doing
  • Don’t celebrate small wins

Continue reading “5 Ways to STAY Committed to Your Fitness Goals”

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

I am a rules person. Rules make sense to me. I have a fond appreciation for order and organization. I think these reasons are why I enjoy math.

Math has a ton of rules and it has answers that are concrete. For me, it just makes things easier. When I started training for this half marathon, I decided to come up with some “rules” for myself – to make things easier.

Some may seem silly, but they motivate me and help keep me on target. I am two and a half months into training and so far, it seems that the rules are working!

So what are these rules? They are simple and short, but helpful. They are as follows:

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

Running #selfie: let's do this!
Running #selfie: let’s do this!

Continue reading “My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training”

A Salute to Ebola Care Nurses

I’m presently watching the 60 Minutes special on Ebola, listening to nurses who took care of Thomas Duncan and hearing about their experiences caring for the first patient diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States. It’s hitting really close to home.

nursing, family, Ebola, patient care

As a nurse, I have had many friends ask me, “would you take care of the patient if they were in your hospital?” Currently I don’t work in a hospital and am an oncology nurse (always have been), which means that even in the hospital I would have never be faced with this decision. I will (in a hospital environment) work on a floor with immunocompromised patients. Here is the thing, though: I would without hesitation take care of that patient. I am a nurse; caring for patients – for people – is what I do. Continue reading “A Salute to Ebola Care Nurses”

Imperfectly Perfect

My body is far from perfect. I have a very smooshy belly that is full of stretch marks. My arms jiggle when I wave. My thighs are very well acquainted with each other and I do not anticipate ever having a thigh gap. Even my calves and ankles are chubby.

But my smooshy belly has seen a dramatic reduction after losing 100lbs. A challenge I never thought I would accomplish, but I did.

My stretch marks are permanent reminders of the 3 babies my body grew and housed. 27 months of growing and stretching and 3 surgeries to have 3 babies ripped from my body. The incision scar will always remind me of the strength it took to recover each time.

My arms that jiggle are strong. They carry babies, wave to friends, give hugs, cook and clean.

My thighs, calves and ankles enable me to stand, walk and even run. They are moving me toward my goals.

I spent a long time hating my body. A long time thinking I wasn’t good enough because my body isn’t “perfect”. I don’t ever want my kids to feel this way. I don’t want them to bear the emotional baggage that comes with hating their body and feeling they need to look different.

My body may not be perfect I the view of the media, but God had blessed me with the perfect body for what He has in store for me. My body is imperfectly perfect.

This imperfect body even carried me through my first 5k Mud Run this past weekend, with some awesome ladies. And just yesterday shaved 20 seconds off my fastest mile pace. So this hard work is paying off!


Week 3: Weigh in and Don’t forget the Cheese Puffs!!!

This week I challenged myself to eating healthier and providing myself with the healthy snacks to make this happen.  Also known as grocery shopping.  Because I had a coupon, I chose to shop at Earth Fare.  It is close to home and if I spent $35, I would get $5 off.  Seemed as though that would be about right.

I went into it with an idea of what I needed to get and just kind of winged the rest of it.  Bell peppers, humus, avocados, yogurt, crispy snack of some sort, apples, gelato, and a protein/meat if price allowed.  I branched out and did quite well.  I am trying two new flavors of gelato: Southern Butter Pecan and Pistachio.  I am branching out a bit.

This week was a hard one as I had an Expo for work to which we were at liberty of the facility catering for the day and in the evening we had a business meeting/dinner.  I was surrounded by candy, cookies, and all sorts of NO-NO’s.  I must confess, I didn’t log this day and I waited to dang long to have eaten.  I allowed myself to hit hangry; yes that is a word…in the dictionary.

Hangry (adjective) : hungry and angry

I ate a Turkey sandwich with no condiments.  I drank water the majority of the day.  I did have a few cocktails in the evening as well as a glass of red wine.  We had dinner at a restaurant in Rosemont IL. called Carlucci.  Their brazen Lamb was delicious.  I had never had lamb before (…again branching out) and I would order it again.  If you are in the northwest Chicago suburbs, you should definitely check them out!

I decided to go on a run outside yesterday.   The Pufferbelly Trail has been one that I enjoyed attempting to run.  Running is a mental game for me.  I was able to meet 2 goals last night and being the dork I am, I rejoiced out loud!  ‘WHOOOO HOOOOO!’  I ran .88 miles straight at a good pace without stopping and by the end of the day I hit my 10,000 steps.  I was so happy.  You see, it is the little victories!

My week has been a blur.  Correction, what day is it?  Is it Friday?  Yes, I have been oblivious to what day of the week it was.  I have been forgetful and in an effort to me not forgetting, I have “my handy dandy notebook!”  (Thank you, Blue’s Clues for forever placing that phrase in my head…ugh) The list this morning?  Weigh in and don’t forget the cheese puffs!!!  And yes, exclamations were there.  I have to satisfy this inner fat kid don’t you know!

Week 3: height 4'8"; weight 101.5lbs
Week 3: height 4’8″; weight 101.5lbs


Will You Make the Choice to be Healthy?

This blog post thought started when a ripple went through the nation about the most recent Biggest Loser Winner and how she may be TOO skinny. I’ll be honest, I’ve always had the fear of this happening with that show, especially for people who are former athletes (super competitive) and/or have addictive personalities. I fear this because I’ve walked in those shoes. I’m a former athlete and also a former exercise anorexic. I’ve felt the thrill of losing weight and wanting the numbers to KEEP coming off even when there really were no more pounds to shred. I know the “joy” of stepping on the scale every morning and feeling that “control”, but I refuse to go back there. Refuse.

Instead I choose this…

I choose to be healthy!

And I want to challenge you to do the same. I want to challenge you to let go of the number on the scale, let go of the calorie counting, let go of the fat restricting… and simply choose to live a healthy life. Choose to daily eat fruits, vegetables, and nutrient dense foods… to daily be active and to be active at an activity level that is healthy and not overindulgent. Choose to tell yourself you are beautiful just the way you are every day and to judge your health level by how you feel, the energy you have, and the way your clothes are fitting. Choose to deal with your anger, frustrations, insecurities, and anything else bothering you instead of letting it eat away at you. Choose to embrace yourself. Right now. Where you are at. Choose to let go of harmful practices, harmful relationships, harmful foods. Choose to have cheat days. Right now, in this moment, I challenge you to make a choice.

Will you make the choice to be healthy?
Will you choose to recognize you are a unique individual and your healthy is vastly different from anyone else’s healthy?

One of the worst things we can do is compare our health to our neighbors health. To compare our weight to our neighbors. To compare our diet to our neighbors. To compare our exercise regimen to our neighbors. To compare our job to our neighbors. To compare our relationships to our neighbors. 
Choose to let go of comparison.
Choose in this moment for facebook, pinterest, and all other social media to not be comparison resources, but rather to be resources that help you to establish YOUR version of healthy. Your own unique and absolutely stunningly beautiful version of healthy. Trust me, it is worth it… Because you are far more than a number on a scale, a clothing size, miles run, hours worked out, job title, friends on facebook, and whatever else you may define yourself by.
You are stunningly unique and beautiful.
Today is your day. To choose to change those habits whether they are over exercising or under exercising. Whether it is over eating or under eating or maybe it is not sleeping enough or sleeping too much.It just might be too much junk food and not enough nutrients or maybe it is an abusive relationship. It may be letting go of that self harm you think will help ease your pain. Whatever it is that is keeping you from being the healthiest you, I challenge you, get to the core of the problem. So my challenge to you:
Dig down to the core of your unhealthy habits.
 It is going to suck. But it is most definitely worth it. It may have started somewhere in your childhood or those dreadful years called middle school. It could be self inflicted or stem for lies that someone has fed you. It could be out of sheer laziness or lack of self worth. Whatever it is, find it and face it. Let’s walk through the unhealthy habit struggles together while each of our unique versions of healthy unfolds. 
Will you walk this journey with me?
I sure hope so! If you feel so inclined, share your stories, your pictures, and your journey. I absolutely love stories of beauty from ashes! The road to health is a daily journey and it is better traveled together, side by side, without comparison but rather a journey full of teammates. Let’s do this. Together.
You my friend, are stunning and beautiful and I canNOT wait to watch what your version of healthy looks like.
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