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.