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

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A Week of Food In Greece

I have been sitting here for a while thinking about how I would best showcase all of the amazing food I ate while in Greece. I could post each picture, each memory, with a detailed description of the meal from the first step into the restaurant to when I was so satisfied I was in a state of euphoria. I could go into detail about the ambiance in the restaurant, the presentation of each dish, the taste of the first delicate bite which you can never replicate no matter how many more bites you take. I could talk about the tips and tricks I took when ordering to try and stay healthy, how I watched my portions, while still trying every last thing I wanted. Ultimately I decided pictures speak louder then words. This is by no means every meal I ate on the trip, however it is some of the more memorable ones.

BREAKFAST

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As we know I am obsessed with yogurt. Whenever a restaurant or cafe had yogurt as an option it was a mindless decision on what I would be ordering. This breakfast was by far one of my favorite’s on the trip. Creamy, smooth, and an amazing collection of fruit. It hit the spot.

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 I love little treats, so I knew I was going to fall in love with Greece when every time I ordered a beverage I received a goody. On this day it was a little cookie with my morning coffee. Nothing like a little sugar to start your day.

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Just another amazing fruit and yogurt breakfast. This one came with a little treat of baked goods. I sampled a small bite of each. So good!

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 This was my only morning having eggs for breakfast. Dustin and I walked almost 2 miles to get to this cozy cafe recommended by our Air BnB host. The ambiance of this place was amazing just like their food.

LUNCH

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Over the entire trip we did not end up eating a lot of lunches. Instead we would eat a larger breakfast and an even larger dinner. Then we would typically split something as a snack throughout the day or enjoy a treat with our beverage order. Here is just one example of a beautiful salad we shared. The fresh citrus with the greens hit the spot.

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This was by far one of our favorite meals on the entire trip! Nothing like a big plate of gyro meat, pita, and onions after a morning run and walking. The meat just melted in your mouth.

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Stopping by a street vendor one day to share a pork kabob in a bun with ketchup and mustard. This is the Greek take on a hot dog, but way better.

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Overlooking the ocean we enjoyed a fresh crab salad for lunch. This place was recommended by my yoga teacher as one of her favorite places to eat in Santorini. We loved trying to eat only where the locals ate throughout the trip. I cant even put into words how refreshing this meal was.

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One day we took the bus to a little town Peza in Crete to do some wine tasting. Although the wine tasting was dismal at best, our highlight of the day was finding this local spot for lunch. Workers were on their lunch break ordering meat on a stick accompanied by bread and ketchup. We also stopped by a little market vendor to pick up some fresh strawberries and grapes to eat with it.

SNACKS

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Again I love how in Greece your beverages always come with a snack. When ordering wine fruit was paired, nuts or chips was common with beer, and a small baked treat with coffee. There were many afternoons where this snack and drink would hold us over till dinner.

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With every meal we ordered we received bread. For me this was heaven and hell since I love bread, but I also have little to no self control with it. However once I learned I would be getting bread with every meal it made me stop, pause, and eat only the bread I truly loved. If it was not amazing I knew another loaf would not be to far away.

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Wine tasting with cheese, olives, bread bites, and a tomato dip. A perfect afternoon in my opinion.

DINNER

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We wanted to make sure we got at least one very traditional Greek meal in. This was a platter of all of the different mezzes we are accustomed to in the states. The difference from back home to Greece is obviously the taste. There is really no comparison.

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This was my favorite greek salad on the trip. The produce was so fresh, it was swimming in olive oil, perfectly baked croutons, and cheese that melted in your mouth. The portion was huge and came in a giant wooden bowl. I could eat this salad every day for the rest of my life and be happy. It was that good.

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At the same restaurant as the best greek salad of my life was this amazing lamb dish. It was served with smoking sage rising and twisting it’s way up engulfing every last ounce. The presentation would have been enough, but yes the food tasted just as good as it appeared.

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I have never been one to eat anchovies, however Dustin loves them. We ordered this dish at the pier and although I was not looking forward to it as much as others I ended up loving it. The fish were salty and perfect. The olive oil and onions just made all of the flavors come together.

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Another amazing traditional greek salad. This one had a balsamic glaze on top. We paired it with the dish below.

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Our last meal on the trip. This was a pork dish in a sweet glaze. Tasty, but not my favorite on the trip. What made this meal so memorable though was the view we had while enjoying it. We were in Santorini watching the sunset as we finished off our last bite. A perfect date to end an unforgettable trip.

Things I am Loving This Week- Halloween

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I love and adore  Fall. There are so many reasons why. One is due to the new abundance of fall squashes and pumpkins. There are so many types and varieties or squashes. Roasting them is so easy and they all taste amazing. They can be sweet, savory, simple, or decadent. The first time you go to cook one of these big guys it is intimidating to say the least. Once you learn the tricks of the trade you wont be able to stop! My favorite type right now kabocha squash. If you have never tried it I recommend you go out and get one this week!

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Nothing quite makes an October  Saturday morning like being all bundled up and walking to your neighborhood coffee shop through the morning fog. Upon ordering my almond milk latte I found a smiling cat looking back up at me. It is funny how something so simple can really make you so happy.

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My absolute favorite day of the year is Halloween! I use the whole month of October as a tribute to the 31st and try to surround myself with scary movies, pumpkin flavored anything, haunted houses, and all while wearing cozy sweaters. On this spectacular night it was a slumber party at one of my close girlfriends house. We all wore witches hats, drank wine, cooked, and watched The Craft. All in all amazing!

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Part of getting ready for a holiday is engulfing yourself in everything it has to offer, which includes decorating. It is nice to transform your home into a story, fairy tale. I bought this wreath and am obsessed with the bright colors, sparkle, and fun of it.

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Part of decorating is also doing it for others to enjoy. I came across this house in Pacific Heights coming home from the gym last Saturday morning. I immediately pulled over and had to capture it. Pictures do not do this place any justice.

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Nothing is better then close girlfriends, especially those who know you so well. I have 3 amazing friends who brought me a homemade center piece for my annual Halloween party. The pumpkin even came from the pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay. It is one of the most amazing and thoughtful gifts I have ever received. Nothing but love!

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This year for Halloween I ended up dressing up twice. Once for an annual karaoke event called Scareokee where I decided to channel Lady Gaga for singing inspiration.  The other was for my annual Halloween party, Cruella Deville anyone? I love transforming myself into another person for an evening. I like to take on a whole new persona and really get into character. I also decided now being over the age of 30 it was time to embrace this body I work so hard for. I never thought I would be brave enough to wear a leotard out. I remember seeing girls wearing them at parties and thought if only I had the body, the confidence, and the self esteem. Although these feelings may still be with me now, I have found it is important to just let go and let yourself be free. Even if it is for one night only.

Mom’s Homemade Carrot Cookie Recipe

Growing up I can always remember my mom’s carrot cookies. I can’t specifically remember any occasion that would call for them, but when she surprised my brother and I with a batch it always brought a feeling of joy, comfort, and warmth to me. However no matter how great this surprise was nothing beat actually being able to make the cookies with my mom in the kitchen, for those are probably some of my most cherished childhood memories involving food.

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 The first thing we would do is grab the vintage Pyrex mixing bowls out of the cabinet, a gift mom and dad received the year they were married back in 1970. To this day vintage Pyrex are the only bowls I can use to mix in, otherwise cooking just does not feel the same to me. My set is from the flea market and every time I grab them it reminds me of my moms.

After setting out our tools we would precisely measure and pour all of the ingredients carefully into the bowl and I would use a giant wood spoon to gradually turn the batter over and over again until it was blended just right. Of course my favorite part of this whole experience was just after everything had been mixed taking the spoon and licking the batter completely off of it. I would then use my finger and wipe my way around the bowl’s rim to make sure and get every last drop I could.

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 Next my mom and I would carefully place small dollops of the batter onto the greased cookie sheet making sure each cookie was just the right size before placing it into the warm oven.  I remember just waiting in anticipation for the timer to go off. Staring at it as if it would make the time go faster. Once the buzzer would sound my mom would pull the cookies out and take her spatula and place each one out onto the newspaper we had laid out in order for them to cool off.  On a cold Colorado winter day nothing beats warm cookies coming straight from the oven. I hated the 10 minutes I would have to wait till they were cool enough to eat.   However after all of the waiting it was always worth it. The moment the warm cookie touched my lips I could taste the sweetness from the coconut, the hint of vanilla which gave it just a little something extra, the richness from the butter, and just the overall chewy deliciousness that were them.

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These cookies are not the healthiest per say, however life has to be about these small doses of enjoyment. These are the memories that stick with us as adults and become our comfort on a cold day. Just one taste as an adult brings you right back to the place you enjoyed them as a child. The tricky part is learning how to appreciate them in moderation, something I personally have struggled my whole life with. Last night after a hard day and needing to decide what to make for a for bake sale fundraiser at work I finally landed on the idea that I needed a little comfort in my night and so I decided the carrot cookies were in order. Below is my mom’s original recipe, I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have over the years!

Carrot Cookie Recipe

1 cup. flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 cup. white sugar
1/2 cup. brown sugar (use less of both sugars if desired)
1/2 tsp vanilla (I used lemon as I was out of vanilla and it tasted amazing)
1 egg
1/2 cup. grated carrots (I used the pre-grated ones from Trader Joes. Quick and Easy)
3/4 cup. rolled oats
1/4 cup. wheat germ
1/2 cup. coconut
1/2 cup. butter or margarine (I used 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup un-sweetened applesauce to cut calories)

Combine dry ingredients.Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
Stir in rest of ingredients

Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen