Days 220 – 222

Can you believe it’s (almost) the middle of August already? I think I was too busy melting in the heat to realize time was actually passing by. Soon the leaves will start turning that vibrant red I love so much. In the meantime, I’m trying to do my best to absorb as much vitamin D as I can (mosquito bites permitting).



Since completing the Whole30 back in June, I’ve lost an additional 2lbs, totaling 10lbs lost. I went from 130lbs down to 120lbs which is fine and dandy but all actions must have reactions. This has apparently affected my strength which does not please me. We did a CrossFit total (max effort on the backsquat, shoulder press, and deadlift) recently and my lifts were not what I expected. While I PR’d on my backsquat (up to 146lbs!), my shoulder press and deadlift suffered. This bruised my ego a little bit because I had worked really hard to get my shoulder press up and I love deadlifting (no, seriously). Time to hit the gym hard(er)!


WOD: CF Games 2011 Events 8-10 (I hate rowing and I hate wall balls. This confirmed it)


My go-to snack: spoonful of almond butter. Don’t judge me.Sometimes, after a long day at work, you just gotta appreciate the beautiful sunsets



Whole30 Reflections

It’s been over a week since I completed the Whole30 challenge and these were mere observations and experiences from my point of view (because well, it’s my blog).

  • Apparently, I thrive in a structured environment and if I put my mind to something, I can achieve it. Good to know!
  • My taste buds have definitely changed – spicy food appeals to me and I’m currently in a love/hate relationship with cayenne pepper.
  • I have some serious demons when it comes to food – even though I’ve been perfectly healthy (both before and during the Whole30) I was incredibly hard on myself during the entire process. I found it mentally exhausting to constantly be worried about every little ingredient that went into my body. Reading labels is a great habit to form; however, don’t let it drive you nuts.
  • Food is like a drug and “getting clean” is like drug withdrawal. Seeing other people eat foods I enjoy is like being a former smoker and having smoke blown in your face.
  • I found myself avoiding otherwise enjoyable situations just so I wouldn’t be “tempted” by food (or alcohol).
  • Things I lost during the Whole30
    • Around 8lbs  – but I didn’t think I did. I did notice some body composition changes but not a significant amount. 8lbs on a 5’2” frame is actually a lot.
    • Strength and stamina at the gym – admittedly, I had been out of the country for almost three weeks and the strength-loss would be more a consequence of that than anything else, however, I did not regain strength after I’d been back for over a month. The 8lbs lost could also attribute to this. In the week after the challenge, I introduced more carbs and have definitely noticed more energy during workouts.
  • Sleep has been heavenly – I’ve been sleeping like a freakin’ baby.
  • For the ladies, I did notice that it affected my menstrual cycle. I didn’t get cramps or bloating and it was an effortless and quick period (maybe 3 days long).  I’m usually in the fetal position for a week straight craving chocolate and bad chick-flicks.
  • All the meat I’ve eaten in the last 30+ days has been appropriately raised and fed (grass, forest, pasture, etc). Which is awesome. It’s also expensive; HOWEVER, because I haven’t been eating out at restaurants, I’ve actually saved money. I bought a new camera lens to celebrate!
  • I’m absolutely lactose-intolerant and that makes me sad. I’ll now be going dairy-free whenever possible but am willing to suffer the consequences when it’s really worth it.
  • I’ll also be going grain-free and low-sugar whenever possible. I’ve yet to introduce gluten back into my diet so I’ll see how that goes.

In the end, I’m glad I did it. Proving that I could do it is a feat in itself and it has taught me that I’ve more willpower than I had allowed myself to believe. Learning how to reset my body and my nutrition habits has been a valuable lesson and one that’ll stay with me.

Day 172 – 6.21.2011

It’s the last day of my Whole30! I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about it and to be honest, I’m not really craving that piece of chocolate I’ve been saving. In a weird twist, I’m uninspired right now. But at least I wanted to show case all the ingredients that have inspired me to experiment with flavors and cooking for the last 30 days. My spice collection has doubled in size, as has my oil collection.

I’m currently writing a follow-up on the Whole30 and will post that once I’ve got my thoughts coherently typed.

Day 164 – 6.13.2011

One of the responsibilities of the Whole30 nutrition challenge is knowing exactly what goes into your food. This practically eliminates being able to eat at restaurants. Even at the restaurant I work in, I can only eat the steamed broccoli and the baked sweet potatoes because all other veggies are either cooked with corn/vegetable/canola oil or have some other non-approved ingredients added somewhere in the recipe. So for the last 22 days, I’ve cooked every single meal I’ve consumed. Every. Single. Meal. It’s kind of exhausting just thinking about it but I’ve enjoyed the challenge of creating and combining flavors. Recently, I’ve been on a kale kick – it’s such a vibrant green color and its bitterness blends well with my two new favorite spices: paprika and cayenne pepper.

Day 157 – 6.6.2011

It is Day 15 for my Whole 30 Challenge and here’s what has happened so far..

  • I’m sleeping like a rock
  • My pants feel a bit looser (but just a little bit)
  • My cravings for chocolate have been replaced with cravings for sweet potatoes
  • I’ve prepared every single meal I’ve consumed for the past two weeks
  • I’m seeing some really intense back muscles
  • Experimenting while cooking has been fun – today I cooked with avocado oil for the first time!
I’m pretty proud of myself for making it this far, I don’t think I would have stuck with it if the rules weren’t so strict. Although I can definitely see myself fine-tuning my eating habits to mimic the challenge, I don’t plan on living without dairy or the occasional treat. Halfway there!

Days 135 – 156

What I’ve been up to since returning from Guatemala:

  • I started the Whole30 Nutrition Challenge on May 23rd (still going strong!)
  • CrossFit 2-3x a week
  • Work, work, work
  • Editing photos from Guatemala
  • Redecorating the apartment
  • Work, work, work
  • Sleep
This is just to update all my photos. As a side note, you’ll notice that there are some days missing – I’m going to admit that I slacked off and didn’t take any pictures on some days. I’ve accepted that I failed on those days and have forgiven myself. Onwards!
We gathered a crew of friends to help us in our first steps in decluttering our place! Our friends are awesome (Thank you Kyle, Michael, Ben and Mehtab!) and our apartment is awesome.
Sometimes, this is what you get when you live with a boy.
Typical breakfast (maybe dinner?) in our household.
We discovered something awesome – beef bacon! Kinda tastes like really good jerky when overcooked (my fault) but still delicious, I can’t wait to include back into my diet.
A great BBQ at a friend’s house included some perfectly grilled meat to satisfy our palettes.
He might kill me for including this picture but I like it. These are a series of photos taken of Chris’ band members for promotional posters. You should check them out – they’re pretty freakin’ awesome (
Day 1 of the Whole30! For dinner: grass-fed beef heart from Wolf Creek Farm!
 Apparently, I like food.Something I’ve yet to try at CrossFit – tire flips! Not that I’d succeed because they’re bigger and heavier than I am but who knows.
Back to the ol’ routine of the Saturday morning Charlottesville City Farmer’s Market. So many strawberries! I didn’t get any because they’re a bit too sweet for my taste (and therefore, go bad before I get to use them) but their colors are so enticing!
On days where the humidity isn’t stifling, I have breakfast outside on our back patio. It gives me the opportunity to savor my meal without the distraction of my laptop or the television. I also noticed that I feel way more centered when I’m not rushing around like a maniac in the mornings.
Where all the magic happens – my cupboard. Today (June 5th) I ventured to our local Whole Foods where they held a 50% off everything sale (they’re moving to a new location) and now my cupboard is even more stocked up. Now I don’t have an excuse for not cooking well.
A happy little accident occurred  – I was following a recipe from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook for an Almond Coconut dressing and added too much almond butter (is there such a thing?) and got a thicker, creamier sauce than anticipated! It’s got some tanginess from lemon juice and some added fresh basil so it goes incredibly well with fish.
While walking around the Farmer’s Market yesterday, I was tempting into buying some flowers to spruce up the apartment but I had to talk myself out of it – I know that I’m terrible at taking care of plants (although that orchid is still blooming..)
While I can’t enjoy a Sunday Brunch out because of the Whole30, I treated myself to a fabulous brunch this morning after a quick workout at a local park: local pastured farm egg scramble, prosciutto (no worries, the only ingredients were: pork, salt, pepper), and local swiss chard and sun-dried tomato sautée. Seriously, this was awesome – I impressed myself.