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

Favorite Low Calorie Breakfast Cereals

I decided in light of my last post it might be nice to share with you guys some of my favorite low calorie cereal’s. I do want to note that during my cereal exploration I did spend more time investigating calories and not as much time focusing on the cereal’s in terms of nutrition. For that reason I decided to include a link to all items in Foodeducate to help you understand nutrition on each cereal as well. For those of you not familiar with Foodeducate it is a website that looks at manufacturer’s nutrition labels and ingredient lists and will assign a grade of A through D to various foods. Foods which are minimally processed and nutrient dense will receive higher grades. This means “real” foods are going to receive higher scores over processed foods. So an apple will get an A where Club Crackers will receive a D+. I highly recommend playing around on the website and checking it out for yourself!

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My favorite guilty pleasure cereal is Whole Foods 365 Every Day Value Peanut Butter Balls. Let me warn you this cereal is sweet, peanut butter goodness. I treated this cereal more as a dessert then a way to kick start my morning. It tastes delicious with just almond milk or I have even mixed it in with cottage cheese, fruit, or even grabbed it by the handful and mixed with some nuts and dark chocolate chips to make a trail mix. Whole Foods also recently launched this cereal in a version with Coco balls. I still like the original better, but the coco one is great for mixing it up.

 

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Both cereal’s come in at 1 cup for 110 calories. Foodeducate gives the Peanut Butter Balls a C+, but interestingly enough the new Peanut Butter and Coco Balls a B- even though they are pretty much the same. Both cereals are part of Whole Foods Private Label Brand 365 Everyday Value and can only be purchased there.

 

 

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Another recent addition at Whole Foods is the 365 Every Day Value Crunchy Cinnamon Squares cereal. If you grew up being a fan of Cinnamon Toast Crunch then this is the cereal for you. Again this for me is great for an after dinner treat or nice when I need a handful of something to indulge my sweet tooth.  1 cup comes in at just 90 calories and Foodeducate gives the Crunchy Cinnamon Squares a B+ rating which is not too shabby. Crunchy Cinnamon Squares again is part of Whole Foods Private Label Brand 365 Everyday Value and can only be purchased there.

 

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I found the Kashi Indigo Morning Cereal on my last business trip to Arkansas at one of their local grocery stores. After a long day of flying all I wanted was to go to my hotel room and have a big bowl of cereal before bed. I really like this cereal better dry then with milk. Once the cereal is in milk it loses a little bit of the sweetness it has, which for me makes it a little less delicious. However if you do not have a sweet tooth like me and want this for breakfast then with milk is the way to go. I also am not a fan of the dried fruit in it, so I will usually pick that out and add in my own blueberries. One serving of this is 3/4 cup at 100 calories and Foodeducate gives Indigo Morning Blueberry a B-. This cereal is a little harder to find, but I have found it in Molly Stones Grocery store and some other random smaller grocery stores.

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Arrowhead Mills has two of my favorite cereals that are not on the sweet/sugary side. The first is Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Sprouted Corn Flakes and the second is Arrowhead Mills Sprouted Wheat Berry and Quinoa Flakes. Both of these would be the cereals I would go to in the morning if I needed a quick breakfast. I also like to mix both kinds in with some of the other sweeter cereals in order to make the bowl a little less sweet and more hearty.

The Wheat Berry and Quinoa cereal has a slightly lower calorie count coming in at  1 cup at 100 calories, while the Sprouted Corn Flakes is 110 calories for 1 cup. Foodeductae gives both the Sprouted Wheat Berry and Quiona Flakes and the Sprouted Corn Flakes a B for nutrition. I mainly buy these at Whole Foods, but have also found them in Safeway and other mass grocery stores.