Whole 30 Week 4 and Workouts

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A few nights ago I dreamt of a cupcake. I was holding it, looking it up and down, assessing every inch of its deliciousness. It was not your conventional store bought cupcake, oh no. It was a perfectly baked, moist, treat. The flavor was simple, a vanilla cake with what I can only imagine to be cream cheese frosting. My eyes devoured it while my mind started to express the guilt I would feel for eating it, for breaking the Whole 30 rules. I took that first bite and the sugary goodness melted over me like being hit with a ray of sunshine on a summer day. Then I woke up.

A couple of nights later it happened again. This time not with a cupcake, but with alcohol. Whiskey to be precise. A beautiful cocktail in a stemmed glass. I swirled the liquid around, bringing my nose right to the top and smelling all it had to offer. The moral and mental battle raged on again before ultimately the first sip was taken. The warm liquid moved down through my body warming me up from the inside out. I felt calm, relaxed, and happy. Then I woke up.

Now I am not one to dream about food, especially foods I almost never partake in. Maybe once or twice a year I indulge in a cupcake or a whiskey cocktail, but neither are high on my can’t live without list. Which made it that much more interesting to see these treats pop up into my sub concise. My best guess for interpretation is after 28 days of nothing but pure obedience to the rules, my mind feels it is either tired of being so strict or maybe it feels it deserves a reward. Either way I am on the home stretch with 28 days complete and 3 more to go. Right now I am still debating if I want to continue on after the 31 days or start the re-introduction of foods instead. Most likely I will just keep going until something so amazing and tempting comes across my plate I can’t say no.

This week I had the pleasure of actually going to see Melissa Hartwig, the founder of the Whole 30 speak at a book signing. It couldn’t have been better timing since starting the program I have become slightly infatuated with her. It was on Thursday night up in Marin County, a pretty short 25 minute drive from my house over the Golden Gate Bridge. Ideally I would have had a partner in crime to go with me, but it wasn’t in the cards so a solo adventure it became.

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One of my favorite pastimes is seeing authors speak. I love to hear them describe their work, their passion. Hearing them describe how they came about the eloquent words they spent hours typing. I love the questions the audience asks and seeing how quickly they are able to gather their thoughts to respond back. (Which from personal experience is a pretty nerve racking endeavor.) I ended up being more then pleasantly surprised with Melissa, I was flat out impressed. She was fluid with her thoughts, personable with a happy demeanor, smart, candid, and relatable. After almost an hour of talking and Q&A I waited inline for longer then I should have to get my book signed by her and the other author at the event, Danielle Walker from Against the Grain. What ended up being my huge disappointment of the evening? Asking the stranger behind me to take a photo of us. Is it that hard to get someones whole head in a shot? It was a smart phone, not a complex point and shoot. Oh well, if that was my biggest annoyance of the week it was a good week.

Here is to the last 3 days, hopefully the food dreams will start to calm down. Its making it hard to stay on track!

Workouts:

Sunday: 60 Minute Barre Class at The Dailey Method

Monday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Tuesday: 60 minute Barre Class at The Dailey Method, 30 minute strength training at gym

Wednesday: 65 minute Spinning Class at Body Rok, 20 minutes of  strength training at gym. Technically class was only 45 minutes but I stayed on the bike a bit longer

Thursday: 60 minute Burn Class (mix of weights, cardio, and pilates board)

Friday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok. I was looking forward to this class all week! Not only was it taught by my favorite instructor in SF, but it was also an 80’s themed ride!

Saturday: 46 minute 7.10 mile run

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Whole 30 Week 3 and Workouts

 

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Wow, I cant believe I am 21 days into my Whole 30. This week was pretty much on cruise control, thank god! Since I was home from traveling I was able to cook  and prep most of my meals, which makes a huge difference. Typically I like to do most of my meal prep for the week on Sundays. It is a life saver to make a big dish so I have something to eat for lunch throughout the week. This past weekend I ended up having lots of time with friends, so my Sunday routine was thrown off. This meant I had to do more cooking at home after work when all I wanted to do was sit and un wind. My other saving grace this week was Whole Foods Hot Bar. It has saved me when I didn’t get my usual veggies roasted and I needed to grab some quick to add to a salad. My only complaint with Whole Foods is they use a lot of Canola Oil in their food, which technically is complaint in the Whole 30, but not encouraged. Oh well, a girl has to make sacrifices and for me that was it.

So what should I be feeling 21 days in? In reading the Whole 30 guidelines by this time I should be in the stage they call Tiger Blood. What is Tiger Blood you ask? Well according to their website it was a phrase they took from the actor Charlie Sheen (which who knows what he was using it for) and then attached their own definition to it. Essentially Tiger Blood is the part of the program where you are passed the biggest hurdles, i.e. the cravings and “hangover” part. From the website, “Your energy is through the roof, you’ve kicked the cravings, you’re experimenting with new, delicious food, and you’ve finally got the time to notice that your clothes fit better, your workouts are stronger, and you are generally more awesome.”

For myself it is not this dramatic transformation I anticipated. However there are definitely some noticeable differences. I would say if you are not looking for them, it could be easy to miss. Let’s start with the more noticeable ones. First my carvings for non Whole 30 Foods is pretty low or non-existent. I dont have any urge right now for anything processed, sugary, bread/grain like, or even alcohol. Which if you know me a glass of wine, bread, and cheese plate are my 3 essentials if I would be trapped on a desert island.  I was also really nervous about not drinking for a month due to the social impact. Instead I have been trying to spend more time with friends outside of happy hour. This has lead to many a coffee, breakfast, or workout class dates. It is a friendly reminder are friends love us regardless of what we put in our mouths.

Next and probably the most impactful is I am sleeping sooooooooo much more soundly. If you can relate, there is nothing worse then waking up all throughout the night. You wake up feeling almost as bad as if you had gone to bed at 2:00am. So to be able to get a full nights sleep night after night is incredible. Just to be fair though, we also did just buy a new King Bed around the same time this started, so that may have something to do with it as well.

My pants are fitting better. This was something I noticed after the first round I did of Whole 30 back in December and was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to continue the program. After years of practically starving myself I just can’t ever go back to that place. So it is nice to feel like I am not depriving myself of any food and I am still able to see an impact. I have also had some other things I started around December 1st that could be attributing, but regardless of what it is I will take it.  I am not sure what this equates to weight wise as we are not allowed to weigh ourselves on the program, which is fine by me as I broke up with my scale over a year and a half ago and have never looked back!

Lastly and the least noticeable is my energy. I wear a fit bit everyday and track my steps. Since starting the Whole 30 I have noticed without even trying I have added an extra 2-4k steps a day. This is huge if you really think about it as it is an extra 1-2 miles a day. Without trying my body has just wanted to move more. I have also found I have energy to do more “life” stuff like go through my closet, pay bills, cook, get together with friends, etc.  If I had not been paying really close attention to this one I may have completely over looked it.

To summarize, I may not be Tiger Blood yet, but I am seeing the Eye of the Tiger for sure.  One week left to go, although I am not going to lie, I might just keep this party going as long as I can. It feels good to feel good, you know?

Workouts:

Sunday: 60 Minute Barre Class at the Bar Method

Monday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Tuesday: 50 minute Barre Class at Mint Studio, 26 minute 4.15 mile run

Wednesday: 50 minute Spinning Class at Core 40

Thursday: 60 minute training session with personal trainer. Lots of legs and arms! Could hardly walk the next day

Friday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Saturday: 33 minute 5.15 mile run, 60 minute Barre Class at Pop Physique

Whole 30 Week 2 and Workouts

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Just last week I sat perched in one of my favorite neighborhood coffee shops writing my first Whole30 post feeling inspired. As I sipped on my decaf coffee with my Whole30 approved nutpod creamer, now a staple in my oversized purse, I felt confident, in control, and motivated. Sure I had been ravenous with hunger all week and yes I had been snacking way too much, but I was eating whole nourishing foods, most of which was prepared by my own two hands. I looked forward to the days ahead where if history repeated itself I would be feeling amazing and questioning why I ever ate any other way. As I write today, feeling annoyed and slightly discouraged,  I can’t help but think what a difference a week can make.

What happened in a week you might ask? Two words, Orlando Flordia. Yep, I had my first work trip of the year. Now managing eating healthy while traveling is nothing new to me. Years ago I embraced being “that girl” who had almost an entire carry on bag with homemade meals and snacks to last me through a good chunk of my trip. I am also quite skillful at researching what is around my hotels and typically have my workouts and grocery store lined up in order to prep for the week. Going into this trip I found one of my favorite barre studios along with a Whole Foods half a mile from the Hotel. As I boarded my plane on Monday, bag full of food in hand, I thought this week was going to be a breeze!

The first day was just that, a breeze. I had my  pre-made snacks and found an awesome all veggie salad at the airport from one of my favorite restaurants in the city Plant Organic Cafe.  I dressed the salad with my carry on sized coconut aminos, saving some calories from the high caloric dressing included with the salad. Upon arriving to the hotel I un-packed and headed over to Whole Foods. I walked up and down the islets at the hot food bar reading every items ingredients thoroughly as if I was going to be tested on it later. As I passed by each delicious looking veggie or meat dish I found there was either soy, dairy, or sugar hiding in it. I gradually became more and more annoyed with the fewer and fewer options I had to eat. Must we cook everything in soy or add sugar!  But at last I found some good options and went back to my hotel room to eat, watch Netflix, and prepare for the couple of long days ahead of me.

Day 2 started fine. I brought breakfast and lunch with me, a combo of groceries from Whole Foods and snacks I had brought with me. Later that evening my team wanted to go out to dinner. I of course wanted to be a good sport and spend time with them, regardless of my dietary needs. I was determined to make it work! At the restaurant I did my do diligence. I asked for the gluten free menu and after reading it thoroughly landed on the chicken lettuce cups with cashew cheese and a couple of sides of steamed veggies. As soon as the waiter laid down the beautiful plate in front of me I took one look at the chicken and knew there was some sort of sauce on it which would not be compliant. I had to be “that girl” and send it back t to be replaced with plain grilled chicken. I left the restaurant feeling proud of myself, I had navigated through my first dining experience out.

Later that evening as I laid in bed my stomach started to feel off. I decided to go online and look at the menu again just to make sure. Apparently the regular menu had more details then the gluten free and right there with the cashew cheese it said peanuts and soy sauce. Um not ok! What if someone who was gluten free also had a peanut allergy, it would have been nice for them to include that information in the regular menu.  Immediately my heart sank. The Whole 30 rules are very strict. You break a rule you start over, no matter what.

I sat there contemplating and debating back and forth on whether I follow the rules or carry on. Starting over meant the last 10 days would have been wasted. The sauce was on the side and I hardly used it, but rules are rules. However this was not a personal slip or from a lack of trying or lack of willpower. I was annoyed, but finally I decided I would just march on as if nothing had happened. I needed to feel motivated to keep going and giving up the last 10 days was not going to do it. Plus I figured at day 30 I could just add one more day. Then after that day, I will add on one more, and so on until hopefully I could make up the extra 10 days.

The rest of the trip and week ended up being smooth, as I just stuck to the meal prep I had. However I started to feel bored with what I was eating and frustrated in how every restaurant prepared food. As the week started to come to a close my emotions started to take a tole. I was now 13 days into the program and not feeling the amazingness I felt by this time on the last go around. Maybe it was the slip up I had, maybe it was the 3 hour time change with the trip, maybe it was the serious sleep deprivation, either way I was not feeling the ease of motivation to continue. Luckily I am pretty determined so once I set my mind to something I will see it through. Although it does make it a hell of a lot easier when you feel like you are getting something out of it. Oh well, now I am just hoping with this next week the tides will change and my body will become the amazing temple I know it can be.

Workouts:

Sunday: Rest Day

Monday: 55 minute spinning class at Uforia Studio.

Tuesday: 40 minute 6 mile Run. Plus LOTS of extra walking today

Wednesday: 60 minute Pure Barre Class. 1 mile run. 20 minute heavy weight set.

Thursday: 60 minute Pure Barre Class. Was going to run, but woke up with my legs extremely tired after walking 13+miles the day before on top of my workout. I am trying to do a better job of listening to my body.

Friday: 55 minute spinning class at Lavation. This studio is not my favorite, but is only a half mile from my house. Proximity just wins sometimes.

Saturday: 60 minute Burn Class. Burn is a mix of cardio ( burpees, mountain climbers, sprints, etc.) plus weights, and a pilates board with bands. Great full body workout

Whole 30 Week 1 and Workouts

 

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I am officially 7 days complete into my January Whole 30 and so far so good! Luckily I came from a pretty good jumping off point. Having already completed 16 days  of the Whole 30 in December and holding onto most of the principles the rest of the month has made this transition a lot easier. In general the majority of the food I already consumed was in the fruit or veggie family, but I have never been a big meat eater. In December the hardest transition was stopping my morning greek yogurt or overnight oats, obsessed, and having to add in more protein. I get very easily confused for a vegetarian, but in reality I just never never been one to crave meat. It feels quite bizarre to now be eating chicken for breakfast.

Now let’s get real for a moment. Although I have been 100% compliment in terms of the food you are allowed to eat, I do need to improve upon some of the core principles. For instance I love to snack and have been a grazer the last five years. This has made it very challenging for me to adhere to the 3 meal a day rule with only having snacks if you are truly hungry. I also have a fruit problem and pop grapes like candy. This goes against the whole “Slaying your sugar dragon.” I have also just been plain ravenous this week. Maybe it is due to workouts, hormones, or what have you. Either way I would like to get a normal appetite again.

If this whole 30 goes like the last one did it was around day 9-10 my appetite started to get suppressed, I had more sustained energy, and was not reaching for food to help get me through the day.  It usually takes about 10-14 days once you get sugar out of your system for your body to start using fat to run off of instead, which then helps in aiding weight loss. On a positive note my sleep has dramatically improved over the last 4 nights. I always struggle with sound sleeping, so having had 4 nights of rest makes me feel like a whole new person!

I thought for the month of Jan as I am going to be talking a lot about my food why not add my exercise routine in as well. Since it is a huge component to the overall picture. Below is what I did this past week. On a side note I also walk a TON, which I didn’t include as I just count is as a part of my daily life. Most days I walk an extra 2-5 miles outside of just my usual moving around. This is why I love having a dog, they force you to move. I wear a fitbit and walk a minimum of 10k steps a day for reference. On average I am in the 14k-16k range a day.

Workouts:

Sunday: New Years Day Special 90 minute barre class at one of my favorite studios Mint!

Monday: 50 minute spinning class. First time trying Flywheel in the city. As you know from previous posts I am obsessed with this place and overtime I go to New York it is on my hit list. I was a little underwhelmed with the SF class.

Tuesday: 60 Minute Barre Fight Class at Salt. A mix of Barre and Kick Boxing. 30 minute weight training set at my work gym.

Wednesday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Thursday: 60 minute strength training session with my awesome personal trainer.My favorites moves of the day were the trap bar deadlift and the landmine

Friday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Saturday: 40 minute sculpt class on reformer machine. 50 minute spin class. Both at Body Rok

 

 

 

New Year, New Goals

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Last week I got on the subject of New Years Resolutions with a friend. He, like many other people, is in the camp that resolutions are silly and it makes no sense to use only one time a year to set a goal or make changes to one’s life. His mindset is if you want to do something you should just do it, there is no reason to wait. I of course agreed with this point of view, but also challenged my view on how there is something refreshing about starting a New Year with a set of new possibilities. A cleanse  from where life was and where you want it to go.

I have never been one to set a resolution per say. I feel stating large goals like I want to lose weight, are arbitrary and can set you up to fail. I on the other hand am all about starting a new year with new goals. I try to make my goals SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time oriented (And yes this is just one of many signs I have worked a lot of years in a corporate office.)

For example. If 6 years ago I had just said to myself I am going to lose weight, I may have stopped at just 10lbs or 15lbs. However if I had also said, I am going to lose 70lbs than I may have set myself up to fail as it was such a huge hill to climb. Instead I set an attainable goal. I am going to lose 20lbs. Once I hit that goal, I set a new one. I am going to lose another 20lbs. This continued until I no longer needed to lose weight. Then I set new and different goals for myself. I am going to kick drinking diet soda, which I used as a big crutch during weight loss. What I liked about this method is it set me up to succeed and kept me on track. Every year my goals tend to be pretty similar. I usually have one related to my body or health, one related to work, and another centered around a hobby or interest like reading, cooking, or something artistic.

This year I decided to set just January goals to start. I felt like a month was a good jumping off point as it would be enough time to get me on track, felt attainable, and would set me up to succeed. Also since habits usually form after 21 days it would hopefully keep going into the rest of the year. Most of my goals tie back into one another. I think this will also help keep me motivated.

  1. Complete a Whole 30: I tend to eat pretty healthy already, but have always had a love of carbs, it takes all of my self restraint to say no to a cheese and bread plate. I have also never been a huge meat eater, which since I am trying to build more muscle I need to make sure I am upping my protein. After Thanksgiving with all of the indulgences I decided to do a whole 30 for as much time as I could before heading home for Christmas. This ended up being about 15-16 days on the strict program. I ended up feeling amazing! I have been pretty much eating this way since December 1st, but have definitely not been strict. So I decided I may as well get back on track for Jan with the whole program. Plus it then goes into another goal of mine which is to try and cook more new  and different recipes.
  2. Embrace Minimalism: I grew up loving stuff. I was raised on going to garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. I loved the hunt, finding something someone’s no longer found value in, and creating a story to tie back to it. I have always been able to look at possessions and tie them back to memories. Whether it was a gift from a dear friend, a treasure I found on a trip, or just a great deal while shopping. I learned to equate stuff to memories, which in turn has always made it hard for me to part with belongings. Having lived with a minimalist for 5 years now, I have become much better at learning to part with items and also just not buying them in the first place. However for the month of Jan my goal is to not bring any none necessities into my home. Tied to this is also parting ways with items which no longer serve a purpose. Two days into the new year and I have already posted 3 ads on Craigslist to sell furniture along with getting rid of 4 bags of clothes. Off to a good start!
  3. Spend Less: For me the holidays got a little crazy with spending this year. Not only was it all of the gift giving for others,  but  a strong desire for stuff for myself. Not to mention my ass got kicked by a lot of unexpected expenses/bills. Thus for January I am going to be very aware of my spending habits. This ties back nicely to my two goals above. If I am not drinking  and eating out as often (Thank you Whole 30) and I am not bringing none necessities into my home it should help me pair down expenses. It will also help me think outside of the box on ways to hang out with friends and be social. Instead of the typical happy hour and dinner with friends I am going to try to plan a hike and do a homemade brunch with my girlfriends.
  4. Nurture my Home: Lastly all of these goals will lead to me spending more time at home. I want to clean, organize, and spend time loving my place. Nothing beats quality time reading, cooking, writing, and entertaining more in the space I love so dearly.

I am curious to know how others feel about New Year Resolutions and what goals you are setting for yourself? Either way, Happy New Year and hope everyone is kicking some 2017 butt already.