Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April Whole24: Days 19 - 24 Highlights

24 days really flew by!  I cannot believe this is it.
  • I PRed my clean and jerk by 10 lbs on Friday morning!  We did jerks for the strength on Monday and there were heavy cleans in the WOD.  And then at barbell club on Tuesday night, I felt like my coach programmed the drills specifically to work on my clean and jerk weaknesses.  So when I saw we were working on finding a heavy 1 rep squat clean and jerk on Friday morning, I felt ready to PR!  When I did 130 lbs, it was pretty ugly but I got it done.  When I attempted 135 the first time I got stuck in the bottom of the squat and had to bail.  The second time I didn't let myself hit rock bottom and it was a lot easier to stand up!  I guess those barbell hickeys were worth it!
  • I planned a whole weekend of Paleo meals for the beach and all of my friends loved it.  The boys barked about cooking with coconut oil but they didn't have any complaints while we were actually eating.  I was only a little sad when everyone was eating tacos for lunch on Sunday, but Leah had brought some delicious Mexican chicken chowder, so I didn't suffer too much.
  • Since I didn't have a hangover, I got up and did 100 burpees Saturday morning!
  • After going out to a few bars on Saturday night, I sat in a pizza shop and watched my friends eat huge slices of my favorite food.  This was a HUGE test for me.  I stayed strong and honestly, I wasn't even too sad about skipping it.  I made this plate of grapes, strawberries, and avocado with a little salt and bacon when I got home and felt very proud of myself!
  • Then I PRed my back squat on Monday morning!  My last recorded back squat max that I can find is 130 lbs, from 2013... so I knew I was due for a new one.  The strength was two rounds of 5-3-1 adding weight as you go.  My first set felt pretty light, so I continued to up the weight for my second round.  I wasn't really keeping track of exactly how much I was lifting, but when I finished I had done 165 lbs and knew it was definitely a PR.  I added 5 lbs and did one more rep at 170 lbs to finish!
  • My waist is definitely feeling leaner.  I was able to wear some clothes I've been avoiding for a while!
  • I'm really trying to focus on eating mindfully.  I always cook in large quantities, so it can be easy to load up my plate with more food than I really need, especially when it's something delicious.  I know I don't need to eat until I'm stuffed, so I'm trying to focus on eating until I am satisfied.
  • I'm making a serious game plan for this weekend.  I cannot ruin everything I've been working so hard for!  I know I'll be eating out and consuming alcohol, but I need to make smart choices.  I do not want to give myself a big old belly ache.
Unfortunately I probably won't have a results post up until the beginning of next week since Dave won't be home to take my after pics until tomorrow and I won't be anywhere near my laptop this weekend.

See you Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

April Whole24: Meal Plan Days 20 - 24

Well this was my menu before I found out Dave was going away the whole week for work!  This is a first for him and rather unexpected.  Now I will have 4 Kettlebell Kitchen meals to eat to my face, our dinner with friends on Wednesday was postponed till next week, and instead my coworker Jeff invited me over for a Whole30 compliant meal with him and his wife Arley.  Otherwise I'll probably just try and clear out whatever is left in our fridge.  I figured I'd still post my original proposed meal plan since it was all typed out already and it's a bit more interesting than just saying delivery meals and random things in my refrigerator.

  • Brunch: Paleo Pancakes topped with apples cooked in coconut oil and cinnamon with apple chicken sausage
  • Lunch: Whatever is leftover!
  • Dinner: Egg Roll in a Bowl (never made it last week since we had so much food and I didn't want to waste anything I had already cooked)
  • Lunch: Leftover Chicken Zucchini Poppers with a big salad
  • Dinner: Having some friends over that just started their first Whole30!  I'm making Korean Noodle Bowls from Against All Grain (but subbing shrimp for the beef)

And that's it!  Kind of a lame ending, but having 4 of my meals prepped for me already plus dinner at Jeff and Arley's will make for an easy finish.  And next comes the fun part, trying to ride my own bicycle... 

Do you or your spouse travel for work?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Whole24: Days 13 - 18 Highlights

18 days in and I feel like a pro.  I guess I should since this is my 5th Whole30 (21, 24, 25, etc haha), but I have been known to break down and lose myself in a cupcake mid Whole30, whoops.  Not this time.  Over the weekend I successfully avoided a large tray of mini cupcakes that was placed down directly in front of me, win!  Here are a few more highlights from the past few days:

  • I had been craving anything and everything on the grill and this past weekend my cravings were fulfilled.  We had delicious burgers and sausage Friday night and then a big fat steak on Sunday night.  I was one happy girl!
  • I went out to eat on Saturday night for my friend Arley's bday.  She's also doing a Whole30 to try and solve some tummy issues so we scoured the menu for a compliant meal.  We decided to split a cajun scallop salad and a veal chop that came with spinach cooked in olive oil and garlic.  I also had some broccoli rabe in olive oil and garlic.  Our meal was all veggies and meat and even though I swore it was compliant, it sent me to the bathroom before we even left the restaurant.  I'm guessing the scallops were marinated in a crappy oil and I'm pretty convinced that their olive oil had another cheap oil mixed into it since I had the spinach leftover a few days later and my tummy felt awful again.  I don't know, but between this and some other instances, I think my stomach is definitely sensitive to certain oils.
  • I really don't miss booze.  I mean, we went to an epic beer store with an entire wall of cider and I was excited about all the new brands and flavors, but at the same time I'm just like whatever.  I don't need alcohol to have a good time and I love not feeling any consequences the next day.  After dinner Saturday night, we went back to Arley's parents' house to party and I had absolutely no problem sticking to kombucha.  Arley had picked up a bunch of different flavors so we did a little tasting.  It was also fun to play beer pong later in the night when I was sober and everyone else was not ;)
  • I was definitely seeing a difference in my tummy at the beginning of the week, but then Thursday I woke up feeling kind of bloated.  I'm wondering if the yucca that made up the shells of the grass-fed beef dumplings from Kettlebell Kitchen were to blame since they were very starchy.  They were delicious though!
  • After reporting that I went to CF 3 times last week, I went to barbell club before church on Sunday to make it 4 times!  Then I got up and went to the gym Monday morning, which is not usually a thing for me.  I meant to go Tuesday morning, but my alarm never went off (new phone software + silent mode = no alarm), so I went Tuesday night for another barbell club session.  Less than 10 hours later, I was back for the Wednesday 6 am class! Things are really clicking for me at the gym lately.  My back hasn't been bothering me for a few weeks and I'm getting noticeably stronger.  However, I still need to work on catching my cleans with my shoulders instead of my collar bone though.  I've been wearing scarves to work all week to hide my barbell hickeys!  Side note: I just googled hickeys to make sure I was spelling it right and yikes...

All right, that's all for now.  Only 6 days left!

Have you been grilling anything delicious? 
Have you ever gotten any embarrassing bruises?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's Official, We Have a Fence!

We knew we wanted a fence as soon as we moved into our new place and getting Butler in January sealed the deal.  We were definitely dragging our feet on this big purchase, but a few weeks ago we finally pulled the trigger!  Our installation was quickly scheduled and the fence was installed in its entirety today!

Puddin wasn't very impressed at first, but after a little while she got all riled up and did some laps around the yard with Butler.  He was happy to trot around the yard with or without her.

Please ignore the dried drool on my face, I was getting pretty into chewing a ball.

We used All Type Fence based on some glowing reviews from friends and so far, we're very happy with the results.  Now I'm even more excited about the warm spring weather we've been having!

 Do you have any big spring projects going on at your house?

Monday, April 13, 2015

April Whole24 Meal Plan: Days 14 - 19

I made my life super easy this week by ordering a few meals from Kettlebell Kitchen, a Paleo meal delivery service that my CF gym recently paired up with!  I ordered a few different meals to give the service a try and give myself a break in the kitchen.  Otherwise, I have a few simple meals planned to try and clean out my fridge!

  • Lunch: Leftover steak, broccoli, and cauliflower mash
  • Dinner: Beast Chicken Meatballs with Sweet Potato Mash, Broccoli, and Tomato Sauce from Kettlebell Kitchen
  • Lunch: Leftover Egg Roll in a Bowl
  • Dinner: I'm not quite sure yet!  We're headed down to Cape May for the weekend and I know I'll be cooking up a Paleo storm with Leah and our other friends.  I thinking something easy for when we get down there, possibly some Addictive & Healthy Paleo Nachos!

 Have you ever tried a meal delivery service before?

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Whole24: Days 6 - 12 Highlights

Today is Day 12!  Ooooh I'm halfway there (cue the Bon Jovi)...
  • On Friday, I brought my own food to the Phillies game and felt like a total freak.  But then after watching almost everyone around us eat the grossest looking pizza (like the cheapest frozen pizza you could find cooked in a microwave), I wasn't that sad.
  • That same night I knew we were going to be out late (and I had been up since 5:15 that morning) so I chugged ALL the coffee!  I ended up staying up till 3 am and I woke up feeling like crap, thinking why am I hungover, did I accidentally drink last night?  The answer was no, but I don't think I'll be drinking that much coffee or staying up that late any time soon.
  • Avoiding an open bowl of jellybeans, a basket of chocolate (including cadbury cream eggs), and a bunch of mini eclairs on Easter was SO hard.  I may or may not have taken some home and put them in my freezer...
  • I made this Quick Beef Pho and it came out so good!  I wasn't sure if it was going to compare to any pho that I have had out at a restaurant, but the final result tasted like the real thing.  I did find myself missing the rice noodles, but I added some broccoli slaw and scallions in addition to the bean sprouts, onions, jalapenos, mint, cilantro, and basil that the recipe already suggested as toppings.  And one tiny sliver of a red chili pepper, this dish got pretty spicy!
  • I also made Krista's Stuffed Mushrooms but subbed pork for the crab.  If you have a food processor, this recipe comes together in a flash!  Last time I made them, I wished that I had made some kind of condiment.  So this time I whipped up a batch of Homemade Paleo Mayo (my best batch yet!) and mixed in some garlic, scallions, and fresh parsley and it was a perfect topping.
  • I've been trying to get into a little bedtime routine.  Instead of spending my final minutes before bed with a bright screen in front of my face, I've been putting down my phone, getting cozy in bed, and reading my book (It Starts With Food).  It really helps me wind down and I'm sleeping like a rock!
  • I hit the gym 3 times this week, for the first time in a month or maybe longer.  I feel like when I do a Whole30 and really focus on my diet, it encourages me to address other aspects of my health like working out and sleep.
  • I've been trying not to dwell on the scale.  I've dropped a few pounds, but I really haven't seen my stomach deflate yet.  Either way, I know I need to have a tighter grip on my diet year round to have the stomach that I dream of.  A few of my friends from the gym have started counting their macros.  It's a flexible dieting program where you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits your macronutrients, hitting a certain percentage of carbs/fat/protein daily based on your goals.  So if you want to eat pizza for dinner, you just have to plan to keep your carbs low enough during the rest of the day to accommodate it.  It's pretty obvious that I'm never going to give up certain foods, so this may be something I check out after I finish my Whole24.
For the most part, I feel like I've been on cruise control.  Meal plan, cook a ton of food, repeat!  I can't believe I have less than 2 weeks left.

Happy Friday!

Monday, April 6, 2015

April Whole24 Meal Plan: Days 7 - 13

I'm 8 days in, 1/3 of the way done, and things are going really well!  I'm trying a few new recipes this week that I'm really excited about.  I know a hot bowl of pho will hit the spot when it's in the 40s and raining on Wednesday.  Woof to that forecast since it was in the 70s and gorgeous today.


  • Lunch: Leftover Slow-Cooker Italian Pork Roast with Whole30 compliant BBQ sauce and Simple Homemade Coleslaw
  • Dinner: Quick Beef Pho
  • Lunch: Leftover Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Dinner: Leaving this night open for something fun!  I'm thinking I'll hit the grocery store on my way home from work for some seafood or a big steak.
  • Brunch: Leftovers or eggs
  • Dinner: Out to dinner for a friend's birthday!
The Whole30 is not about feeling deprived.  It's not about eating bland "health" food.  And it's certainly not about eating tiny portions and being hungry all the time.  It's about eating nutritious, filling, health promoting food and so far it has been delicious :)

What's on your menu this week?


Friday, April 3, 2015

April Whole24: Days 1 - 5 Highlights

I've done charts, (almost) daily updates, and long weekly recaps... but this time, I think I'm going to keep it simple!  The first few days have been fairly uneventful and frankly, I forgot to take many food pics, but here are a few highlights from the first few days of my Whole24:

Caramelized Italian Pork Chops with Sweet Onion Jam - so easy and delicious!
  • I never went through a horrible detox period (aka the hangover from The Whole30 Timeline) this time around.  I'm guessing this was because my diet beforehand wasn't awful and some well timed coffee (caffeine) and sweet potatoes (carbs) probably helped too.
  • Although I didn't have any headaches or "carb flu" symptoms, my skin looked pretty crappy the first few days.  It mostly cleared up by day 5.
  • I definitely experienced the "kill ALL the things" feeling on day 4.  Thankfully Dave was aware of the reason I was being a total grump and just laughed at me, which made me laugh at myself. 
  • I miss chocolate!  I usually have a small piece after lunch and I'm really missing it.  I also really wanted to eat some while I was grouchy.  No emotional eating for me.
  • I made this Shepherd's Pie for the first time and it came out great!  I cut the sweet potato quantity in half and added some cauliflower mash to the top.  I will definitely be making it again.
  • I love kombucha!  That's all I have to say about that.
  • Sleep has been a huge priority for me lately, even before this week.  I've been getting at least 7 hours, usually closer to 8, and I've really noticed a difference.  I haven't been relying on coffee and tend to only drink a small cup once in a while.
  • I'm rereading It Starts With Food.  The first time I read this book, I remember feeling really excited about the information.  It goes through the science of the Whole30 and I feel like I need a refresher!
  • Someone call the Whole30 police, I'm breaking one of the Whole30 rules on purpose!  I decided to keep weighing myself daily to see what actually happens to my weight throughout the program.  Quite simply, I'm a nerd.  I like collecting data, graphing the results, and analyzing the trends.

In other news, I posted about installing a fence back in November (which prompted quite the debate on facebook) and now we're finally pulling the trigger!  We decided to go with the split rail wood since it's half the price.  We think it matches the feel of our neighborhood better than the aluminum as well.  Our fence will be installed on April 15th and 16th.  I'm so excited.  I'm picturing Dave and myself enjoying a cool beverage on our back deck with a steak sizzling on the grill and the doggies romping around together in the yard below.  It's going to be awesome.

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Weekend!

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