So I’ve been really lazy this past year and I know all it takes is a little bit of preparation during the weekends to have a successful week of eating. And even though I’m ready to get back to eating clean, my brain is still in LAZY mode. I just want a meal by meal, tell me what to eat, tell me how to cook it, etc plan. I know I’m plenty capable of cooking good clean foods. Hell I did it for a year and was really good at it, but I tend to get stuck in ruts and start making the same stuff OVER and OVER and OVER. And then I’m burnt out. I know food should be fuel, but it should taste good too in my opinion. Some folks can eat plain chicken breast, plain veggies, etc. everyday forever. I, however, am not one of those people. I can do it for a short period then I’m out. I want flavor, I want spice. And that’s how I cook, but I’m still a bum right now. I’m trying to rewire my brain!
So I scoured the interwebs and I found lots of resources out there but one seemed to shine brighter than the others. I found Weeknight Paleo over at paleosavvy.com. Author, Amber Beam, seemed to have a well rounded cookbook with meals that didn’t look boring or mundane. Bonus for me, they don’t look hard or complicated in regards to prep or cooking.
Now not all of her recipes are Whole30 compliant but they can be easily modified to fit in with Whole30. Her website even has a Whole30 calendar with meals you can make for the course of your journey. I haven’t made any of her recipes just yet, but I plan to start cooking this weekend. She offers a checklist of essential Paleo items for your pantry and fridge and in addition gives you a shopping list for each week of dinners/meals. So to prepare, I hit up a Sprouts Market during my lunch break to stock up on some of the essentials I’m running low on and spices that are called for in Week 1 of meals. Below is a picture of what I found at Sprouts. I didn’t find everything there but I’m confident WholeFoods will have the rest of what I need.
Now I know what you are thinking. That’s a lot of spices and they all look expensive. To tell you the truth, some were cheap and some were not. But these are items that will last a while. They won’t be gone after one meal. They should last my Whole30 and beyond. It’s a good investment and they are crucial to having flavorful meals. There are some items like Chinese 5 spice that I wouldn’t have regularly in my pantry but there’s a recipe that calls specifically for it. I’m sure there are many more recipes in the book that will call for it later down the road as well. Amber, addresses the “cost” factor in the Introduction of her book as well. Here is an excerpt:
“The True Cost of Paleo
Either you pay the farmer or pay the physician. Lots of people think that Paleo is expensive. I can say I used to be one of those people. During my first trip to the grocery store as a Paleo newbie, I was dumbfounded by the sheer number of items in my cart when I exited the produce section of my market. I continued to the meat department, where I stocked up on what seemed like an enormous amount of protein. I realized that I was not supplementing the fresh food with processed food. I didn’t need to venture into the
supermarket danger zone—the aisles filled with cookies, crackers, and grains. I was building a menu based primarily on high quality protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. Overall, my grocery bill hasn’t fluctuated very much over what I used to spend. I started buying grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork more often. Organic and farm-stand produce also make a regular appearance in my kitchen. For what I spend on these items, I save by not buying nutrient-void carbs that come in shiny, colorful packaging and cost an average of $3.50 per box. You can do the math. On average, I may spend 10–15% more per week, than pre-Paleo, but I consider that money well spent. Higher quality food often costs more, but is more nutrient dense, so I strongly encourage eating the best food you can afford. I see the difference a quality diet has had on my quality of life. So for me, a slight increase in food cost is merely an investment in my overall wellness. The foods I eat ensure I make as few trips as possible to the physician each year and that’s an enormous cost savings.” – Weeknight Paleo, Amber Beam
I always tell people it’s an investment in my health when they give me that crazy eyed look (YOU SPEND MORE MONEY FOR GRASSFED BEEF). It’s only $2 a lb at Walmart or wherever. And it’s true it is cheaper to buy grain fed meats, just not healthier. In the end it’s my choice as it is yours to buy what you like. It’s my health. I prefer not to be sickly. And in general, my family and I are not a sickly bunch. We are not immune to everything but compared to classmates, co-workers and peers, we tend to avoid most of what’s floating around. I don’t only attribute that to good eating though. Our active lifestyle also helps keeps our immune system strong. But good health starts in the GUT. And if we have clean eating habits then we are better off. Keeping those Dr.s, medications and BILLS away.
And if you can’t afford it right now or are not ready to make the jump, it’s going to be fine. You’ve been doing fine so far right? Just make the best choices you can make with the budget you have. Try to be better. Research. Find the deals. If you can afford to buy organic veggies, then buy them. Here is a link of foods that you should try and buy organic, click HERE.
So that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend. Prepping, planning, organizing and getting mentally ready for this Whole30. It’s not going to be easy but I will make it through. Join me. Make the change. Even if it’s only one meal a week for you. Or even one day a week. Let’s get to clean eating and healthier ways. I promise you, YOU will feel better.
Boom Box Recap
Strength: Front squat: 60%x5, 65%x5, 70% 2×5
Boy oh boy my body is hurting. The last thing I want to do is Front Squats. But I gotta do it. I’m still Frankenstein squatting which takes a toll on the arms but I’m low on options here. Thankfully, I was able to do the percentages based on my 1RM of 155lbs. Which is GREAT. I’m gaining my strength back by not being a big ol girl baby!
MetCon: 18 min AMRAP 10 HR Push Ups, 10 T2B,10 DL 185/125
GEESH, 18 minutes of misery! After the 3rd round, I was convinced I wouldn’t get past 5 rounds. I am however getting better at doing knuckle push ups. Go ME! I’m not awesome at them but I can bust through them at a better pace. It’s the Toes To Bar that I’m still struggling with. So it’s Knees to Elbows for me. There’s nothing like a big ol’ belly to get in your way and make you super depressed. Well I got myself in this hole. And I’m the only one that can dig myself out of it. Hopefully in the next few months I can regain getting those toes to the bar! As for Deadlifts, they felt pretty light and easy, and after about halfway through I realized I had 35lb plates on the bar and not 45lb plates. DOH! I was only working at 105lbs! No wonder it was so light! Ah well. I did all but one round unbroken. I still was putting in work. Final: 7 rounds. I pushed to the last second to get that 10th Deadlift in!
Mobility: I did it! I set aside 15 minutes before I went to bed and I rolled out and stretched. I worked mostly on my legs but I also got some shoulder mobility in too. Finally. Now let’s hope I make this a habit!
I hope everyone has a great weekend. If you’re feeling froggy, jump in with me and lets get 2014 kicked off this Monday with clean eating, consistent workouts and good sleep! You don’t have to do Whole30. You can just start eliminating foods, drinking more water, start walking… ANYTHING that is a change for the better. Let’s do this boys and girls.