Friday, August 15, 2014

Whole30 - Week 2/Halfway Done!

Yesterday, I finished my second week of the Whole30. After today, I will be halfway through!

I got the bustle for my dress fitted yesterday and my dress was definitely looser than it was when it first came in! I'm down about 5lbs and could loose probably another 5 and still fit in the dress well. My digestive system seems to have settled into its paleo functioning which is so much nicer than normal.

Goals Recap

  1. Sleep 8 Hours: I've kind of slacked off on this a bit. It's hard to be in bed by 10:00!! Hopefully when I'm not getting to work at 7:00 this will be a bit easier. 
  2. Exercise: Going good, but still a bit low on the # of workouts (6 in 15 days). I've been doing HIIT with 8 minutes jogging followed by 15 minutes of intervals (20 sec at 7mph/40 sec at 4mph) then followed by 7 minutes of jogging. It takes 30 minute total and I run about 2.25 miles. 
  3. Prep Food: I did awesome prepping food this week! On Sunday, I cooked two seperate chuck roasts. One in a green curry dish and the other was a mexican-ish dish. Those lasted most of the week plus, I defrosted some paleo stuffed peppers to supplement. Next week won't be as good because I'm going to the beach this weekend and won't be able to cook. 
  4. Drink Water: Been doing pretty good with this. Slacked of seriously over the weekend though. This weekend should be better since I'll be hot (hopefully) on the beach. I also didn't drink so well yesterday before trying on my dress. 
Not much else to say. I've kinda settled into a rhythm that will probably get totally disrupted next week. So, we'll see how that goes. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Whole 30 - Week 1

So, I've successfully completed one week of Whole30!!

Its been so much easier this time than last time. I think only cooking for myself really eases the pressure to create somewhat elaborate meals every single night. Not that L expects that, for some reason I feel like it something I should do. Hopefully, I won't feel that pressure when he gets back because I'm not going to have time to cook an awesome dinner every night!

I also like not having the pressure of checking every single ingredient in every single item I use. Having to make dinner every night is one thing. Having to make dinner + fully compliant ketchup + fully compliant ghee + fully compliant everything really adds up. I do feel guilty though eating ketchup and butter-- so, I dunno. Also, I'm not at all sick of eggs yet!

Over the last year I've realized that I HATE overcooked eggs. Before, I always cooked my eggs pretty well done, because, in my mind, that was less gross. BUT! I realized at some point that under-cooked eggs don't make me gag so LESS GROSS! YAY! My scrambled eggs are a bit runny now and even though its counter intuitive, I like them better that way! I've also figured out that if the edges of a fried egg get hard/crispy, I should cut them off to avoid over-cooked gag reflex. In Vienna, we discovered a love of soft boiled eggs and I've been trying to figure out the perfect timing. I've found that bringing water up to a boil, adding the eggs, and boiling for 6 minutes is pretty close to what I'm looking for. I LOVE the runny yolk but cooked whites (6 min leaves the whites a tiny bit less cooked than I'd like to see) but there's no danger of icky crispy edges! Also, I've found that eggs are much more bearable if properly salted! So important and when you're not eating processed foods, its important to get enough salt as well as iodine from table salt!

Goals Recap

  1. Sleep 8 Hours: Going GREAT! I've been getting to bed around 10 and waking up at about 6 to get to work by 7 so I can get in 9 hours to make up for being in Switzerland. 8 hours really seems to be the optimal time for me.
  2. Exercise: Going good, but could be better. I've had A LOT going on since I've gotten back and exercise has taken a back burner. I've tried lifting weights at our little apartment gym but the machine is way to big (and not adjustable) and the weights freak me out because they are solid metal and I'm not trying to drop one on my head. I've only been 3 times this week; 4 would be better. I've actually started warming up doing some HIIT (3 min jog at 4mph; intervals of 20 sec 7mph + 40 sec 4mph, 3 min jog at 4mph) to hopefully boost my calorie burn but we'll see how that goes. The first two times I worked out I did weights after my HIIT. I've given up on weights though until I can go back to a real gym when L goes back to school. So, for my third workout, I did longer HIIT with more jogging afterwards. (3 min jog at 4mph; 15 min of intevals at 20 sec 7mph + 40 sec 4mph; 7 min jog at 4mph). My goal for HIIT at this point is to increase the jogging afterwards so that I'm doing a total of 30 min then convert more jogging to intervals. 
  3. Prep Food: This week I did more complete meals than I usually do so prep wasn't as much of an issue. We'll see how it goes next week though. 
  4. Drink Water: This is going pretty good. Saturday and Sunday are the hardest because I'm not sitting at a computer with my water bottle right beside me all day. Of the weekdays, I finished 3 bottles all but one day and most days needed to refill a fourth time! 
What I've Eaten
Breakfasts: 2 Eggs with some combination of carrots, cukes, green peppers, apples, blueberries, and strawberries
Lunch: Salads or leftovers
Dinners: Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs; Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Chicken; Stuffed Acorn Squash; Butternut, Apple, Sausage Hash; Venison Root Veggie Soup.

Going Forward
I think I'm going to cut out ketchup. Sad, I know. But if I make my own it keeps pretty well and I don't like how much sugar I'm getting from it when I PILE it on my meatballs/meatloaf. I also think I'm going to cut out starchy squashes and sweet potatoes. Sounds awful but my goal, at the heart of all this, is to fit into my dress and to do that, I need to drop weight fast and eating starchy foods doesn't help that process. Super sad. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Whole 30 - It's a Journey.

Back in 2013, L and I decided to take control of our health and fitness. We tried various diets and exercise programs but nothing really stuck until we found Whole30. We did our first Whole30 in June (after wedding season ended for us!) and were amazed at the progress we made!

The basic idea behind Whole30 is that you only eat nutrient-rich, "whole" food for a month. You might argue that starving populations have survived on grains and potatoes for thousands of years, which is true. But, Whole30 isn't about surviving. It's about THRIVING. It's about providing your body with the ingredients it needs to be the best version of itself.

So a very brief rundown:
  • Don't eat sugar (or any other sweetner), legumes, grains, dairy, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites, alcohol, or junk food recreated with approved ingredients.
  • Eat three meals a day that each include a palm sized portion of protein, a thumb sized portion of health fat, and fill the rest of the plate with veggies. 
All of the exclusions are backed by peer-reviewed scientific literature which makes the scientist in me very happy and really, once you read the book that goes with Whole30, it all just makes sense. Food is excluded because it violates one of the basic tenants of healthy eating.
  • Promote a healthy psychological response (ie- doesn't cause cravings, like sugar) 
  • Promote a healthy hormonal response (ie- makes your insulin levels go crazy) 
  • Support a healthy gut (ie- beans, beans...) 
  • Support healthy immune function and minimize inflammation (ie- gluten is inflammatory) 
You can argue with me all day about whether or not this is a "good" diet (its not a diet at all, its a lifestyle) and I can pretty much guarantee I have a supportable response for all of your arguments.

The main reason I'm doing this is for the wedding. But, having been in Europe for the last month, I've notice some undesirable changes in my appetite. I've been craving pasta like crazy and I've also been craving snacks! Those two things are really my downfall when it comes to eating healthy. I've also been getting more headaches lately which had mostly subsided since the last Whole30.

I will say, with L gone, I'm not going to be perfect. I have a really hard time cooking for myself without all these restrictions, so there are a few things I'm going to allow so I don't go crazy.
  • I'm going to allow some processed sauces. The main reason you avoid these is due to the added sugar/sweeteners, but making replacements takes FOR-EV-ER. So, if I make meatloaf-- I'll use regular ketchup, if I need quick pasta sauce, I'll use the jar, if I need butter, I'm not bothering with Ghee. I'm not, however, going to be eating super sweet teriyaki sauce or honey BBQ. 
  • I'm eating corn on the cob. Technically its a grain, but is summer in NC and not eating corn is sacrilege. I'll only eat it on the cob though. 
  • I'm eating soy sauce. The replacement, Coconut Amnios, while very good, is way to expensive and only available at Whole Foods so its just not realistic. I am pretty anti-soy though because of the carcinogenic properties (it mimics estrogen) so I really only eat it on the occasional stir-fry and with sushi. 
  • Honey. I'll allow honey occasionally to sweeten things up some. Just not in my tea every single morning. 
  • Cheese. I'm not going to eat cheese. Except for the day we have burgers when L gets back. 
I've got a couple other goals to go along with Whole30.
  • Sleep 8 hours a night and get up in time for breakfast! My goal is 10-6 every night since I have to be at work early to make up for the time I was gone. 
  • Exercise. I'm not 100% sure what is a amount at this point, but I'm thinking at least 20 of the 30 days for at least an hour. This will be much easier when L gets home and I can join Carmichael again. We didn't really exercise much the last time we did Whole30 and it will be interesting to see how it changes the results. 
  • Prep Food! This is probably my biggest goal. I'm going to be super busy this month getting ready for the wedding and I'm not going to have a whole lot of extra time to be cooking. So, my plan is to do a lot more prep work than I've done before. I'll make a weekly plan for all my meals and do as much as I can on one cooking day/night. 
  • Drink water -- at least 3 Nalgenes per day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Flying Home

My last day in Europe was quite short. L and I got up early Tuesday morning, grabbed some pastries, and headed to the airport. I'm glad he was able to come with me!

My flight to JFK was delayed by about an hour, but it worked out okay. Flying towards America is easier because you don't need to sleep but seems so much longer because you don't sleep. I mostly read my books and watched the in-flight movie, Thor 2.

If you've never been through customs before, it sucks. First you have to go through passport control, then you have to get your checked baggage, then you have to go through customs, then you have to recheck your bags, then you have to go through security again, then you have to find your gate and make your flight. JFK has a program that, in theory, helps you through security if you've got a tight conection. They give you an orange pass that gets you in a seperate line from everyone else. The problem, though, is that as soon as you get your boarding pass checked (only one SUPER SLOW person checking too), they mix your short line in with everyone else so I'm pretty sure it actually took longer in the special line. LAME.

Really, the whole reason I'm writing this post is because when we were landing in Raleigh, we somehow kind followed the belt line in then curved back up through Cary to get to the airport. It didn't really make much sense, but I got to see both Lake Raleigh, where our wedding venue is, and Lake Johnson, where we live. So that was pretty cool.

My mom picked me up at the airport in my car with the intention of taking me home then dad picking her up on his way home from work. Unfortunately, she couldn't catch one of our cats, Nobby, so we had to go back to her house to get her. I ended up eating there then finally got home, with both cats, around 7. I did a couple loads of laundry and forced myself to stay up until 10.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Walking Distances

Landon had his phone recording his steps most of time we were vacationing around Europe-- Here is the results:

Madrid 1- 22.0
Madrid 2- 19.2
Madrid 3- 14.4
Madrid- 55.6

Berlin 1- 15.7
Berlin 2- 16.7
Berlin 3- 17.1
Berlin- 49.5

Praha 1- 18.2
Praha 2- 21.1
Praha 3- 20.0
Praha 4- 11.3
Praha- 70.6

Wien 1- 18.0
Wien 2- 21.9
Wien 3- 20.3
Wien 4- 21.0
Wien- 81.2 

Total- 256.9 km or 159.6 miles 

Wien - Day 4

Our last day in Wien was pretty relaxing. We started off pack our bags and having leftover hummus, bread, and olives for breakfast. Then, we headed up towards the city center to have cake and coffee/hot chocolate at Cafe Central. Its one of the most famous and oldest cafes in Wien. Its so famous, in fact, that it plays a central role in a Daniel Silva book where Gabriel Allon goes after a holocaust baddie -- I reread the book during my time in Europe. It was pretty awesome. I had a Altenbergtorte and L had a Topfentorte and a coffee with apricot (?) liqueur.

After our cake, we headed to Hundertwasserhaus which is a crazy apartmnet house designed by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Its pretty sweet!

From there, we headed to the Prater, a very large city park on the Donau. Its really more of a sports/activites park than a hang out park but it was still cool to see. One of the major features is a permenant carnival with one of the oldest, largest (or, it used to be) ferris wheels in the world.

Then we wandered towards Stephensdom to do a bit of souvenir shopping (which didn't end up happening until later). We had to make a detour though, because the cobblestone road exploded!

We wandered around there for quite a while and saw this monument and this nice view of the Stephensdom.

From there, we headed up to Lichtenthaler Brau for lunch. Their beer was good and their daily menu had a broth soup with a meatball and pork schnitzel with potatoes. After we ate, we grabbed our bags from the hotel, did our real souviner shopping, and headed to the airport.

When we got back to Zurich, we headed from the flughafen to hauptbanhof to get dinner (because everything in Baden was closed). I got my last Swiss sausage and L got another Kebap.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wien - Day 3

Our third day in Wien was dedicated to the Schloss Schonbrunn. We headed towards the palace and got breakfast right by the gates. The breakfast place only had one (pretty pissed off) server for the whole restaurant so it took forever. We both got the Wiener Fruhstuck again and were much better at eating the soft-boiled eggs!

Then, we headed into the Palace. The grounds were beautiful! We had done some research and knew that we only wanted to do 22 rooms in the palace and the mazes outside. We walked through the gardens to buy our tickets.

The main palace

The Gloriette

After buying our tickets for the tour later in the day, we headed to the mazes! I was so excited because Harry Potter and a maze! obviously.


The second maze was pretty lame but did have these fun challenges for "kids".

The we walked up the hill to the Gloriette. You can pay to go on top of it, but its so much higher than the rest of the estate, its really not necessary.

Then, we headed in for our tour (no pictures inside!). On the way down, the clouds were looking pretty ominous so we walked pretty quickly through the forest on the right side and saw the small, ruined Gloriette, an aviary, and the fountain on the way down. Right after we got inside the main palace, it started pouring and rain throughout our entire tour, then stopped for our walk to the subway! The tour was really crowed, but really good. They give everyone an audio guide with short information about each room and some history behind the palace. It was a really good way to convey all that information without having people line up at signs in multiple languages. We opted for the shorter tour, but the longer one would have been fine too.

After the tour, we headed back to the hotel, grabbing Kebap on the way! So tasty!

At the hotel, we researched Viennese breweries then headed to a few! The first one, Sebien Stern Brau, had a pepper beer that L just had to have. I'm pretty sure he wanted to cry.

After Sebien Stern, we headed to to the northeast part of town to see the Donau (Danube to you). First we went all the way across but that was too big city so we made our way back across the various canals and the actual river.

Then, we headed through the Statpark to Salm Brau where we had dinner. We started with an appetizer of rye bread covered with green peppers and melted Brie. Then, I had Schinkenfleckerl which is Austrian pasta with ham and cheese in a casserole and L had Kloster - Pfandl which is beef with mushroom sauce and spaetzle. For dessert, we got an Apfelstrudel and it was amazing! From there we headed back to hotel for the night.