You may be asking…. What is Whole30?

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So I’ll break it down for you. They do it quite nicely over at Whole30 but I know sometimes you just want to know what other people say. Sometimes you just might think that it’s too much or too hard or IMPOSSIBLE. I’m no one special. I don’t have anything that sets me above and beyond. I’m just a regular person with too much to do and too little time. I have faults and I have awesomeness but I am nowhere near perfect. I struggle with life’s curve balls and the little things that creep up daily. We all have our downfalls, struggles, success, wins, etc. It’s how we deal with them that either makes us or breaks us.

But to me at the end of the day, if I’m not aiming to be healthy in all aspects of my life then I’m letting myself down and my children down too. This blog is aimed at Fitness and Health. More specifically CrossFit and Clean Eating. And if you know me, I can totally kick ass but as you may have learned I can let it all slip away in the blink of an eye. I’m HUMAN! It happens.

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So I’m back at focusing on CLEAN EATING. I’m true to my CrossFit but I’ve let the eating get in the way of performance and progress. I was at my best last January-April when I was following Whole30. And to me Whole30 is PERFECT. But even after success, I just flushed it all down the toilet shortly after. Yup, you can feel good and KNOW how good to be but it’s still so easy to fall down, dig a hole and stay in the hole.

There is a science to it all with Whole30. The Hartwigs are good about backing up their statements. They have the research behind them, but they don’t BORE you with it all. Some folks NEED that science but it’s not necessary. It’s not exact to each person. There are days you have to experiment to what makes you feel good. Do you need more fat in your day? Are you eating enough carb dense veggies? There are days you will feel exhausted and days you are full of energy. For a lot of folks this is NEW. Clean eating is NEW. There are so many “easy to eat” processed products out there, some folks forget what REAL FOOD is. But in the end, hopefully, you are learning what makes you tick on the inside. What foods are best for you, ratios, portions, etc. Whole30 is a reboot for your health – the brain, the gut, and your immune system.

Whole30 is an elimination program. Cut out all the junk. Eat only real foods. Follow their guidelines on eating proteins, veggies and fats. FOLLOW THEM WELL. You will see results. You will feel better. You should lose weight. You should learn to appreciate and like new REAL FOODS.

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You CANNOT half ass the program. If you do – You will fail. You will give up. You will quit. You can’t say “it’s just this one meal I’m cheating on day ___, I’ll be back to it tomorrow.” You NEED to commit to the full 30 days. Sometimes even longer. NO CHEATING. But LESS than 30 days is not going to do it. Below are their foods to cut out. You can find them HERE as well with more details. The idea is to keep processed, sugary junk out for good. For some folks it’s easy to do, for folks like me…. well it can be hard. I’m a glutton for punishment. My body will tell me the food is not good for me but my brain is stubborn.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits (chips and fries) and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no banana-egg pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.

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Are you running away now? I know it’s a lot to think about but it’s totally worth it! I promise. If you feel after 30 days you just can’t LIVE without something, reintroduce it, see how you feel. You experiment from there. If you just can’t let go of the fact that WHEAT is bad then bring it back in. Do you turn into a hot sniffling mess? Get bloated and achy? Maybe that wheat wasn’t such a good idea. The same goes for sugars, dairy and other grains. Just cut them out though for the 30 days and see what happens before you decide to go back to your old ways.

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I started yesterday and had a SUCCESSFUL DAY ONE! I planned/prepped/cooked over the weekend. It took time. It is work. It’s not a snap of your fingers but it’s not draining either. You don’t have to be a chef to be successful, you just have to make a plan. KNOW what you will eat for at least one week at a time. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

If and when you commit to the program, you will find that there is a good community in the forums. Find folks you can relate too. There are numerous websites and blogs out there that share meal plans, ideas, tips, etc. But if the interwebs aren’t for you then SHARE the program with friends and family. Challenge your family to do this. Make it fun. Learn together!

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If your still not sure then check out It Starts With Food. Last year the Hartwigs published this book. For me this was what I needed to read. It gave me enough explanation on how our body works, because truthfully, I HAD NO CLUE. I don’t know how my innards work but they tell you. I had many “aha” moments while I was reading the book. It was definitely helpful in me committing to the program.

I hope this was enough to spur your interest. You can start any day that ends in Y. I advise not to just JUMP in without any support. Research and plan. Then do it. It’s so easy to fail but if you are prepared then you will do great!

Day ONE and DAY TWO Whole30 RECAP
Yesterday I went over my Post Workout Meal and that it was easy to take in in such a short amount of time after working out. REAL FOOD. Chicken and pureed sweet potato. But breakfast 2 hours later was a little more challenging to get down. But I survived and wasn’t let with any cravings. I wasn’t even STARVING when lunch came around but I knew I had to stick to the schedule of eating.

Lunch consisted of Roasted Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and a Spinach Salad (2cups spinach, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, coconut flakes, cucumber, green onions, mini sweet peppers). I really had all the workings of a Whole30 recommended meal. It was nice and held me over till I ate dinner at 7pm.

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Dinner was already premade thanks to Weeknight Paleo by Amber Beam. I made her Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork with Stellar Sweet Potato Home Fries on Sunday and all I had to do is a little reheat and I was done. Granted Sweet Potato Home Fries are much better right out of the oven, but they are still tasty as a leftover. I added some Kim-Chi to my pork and I was set.

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Bedtime
I went to bed at 10pm. I rarely have problems falling asleep in general but I felt better overall, mentally. I’d done GOOD! hehe. I woke up thinking I would be seriously dead in the ABS and Legs with all the work we did at the BOOM Box and surprisingly NO PAIN! One day of clean eating and I’m already recovering that quickly? Not entirely sure but I’ll keep you posted if the DOMS hits me later today!

Day TWO
Breakfast
I wasn’t really hungry and I’m really not much of an early breakfast kind of girl but I have to plug away and do this right. I made two eggs over medium using Avocado Oil (delicious). After those were done, I plated them, then threw in 2 cups spinach to same pan with a little more oil added along with some green onions (precut on sunday). Had a small handful of raw trail mix and breakfast is down for the count!

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Lunch
I had a choice of Pulled Pork or more Roast Chicken (made on Sunday as well) so I went with chicken. Last night as I was reheating my food, I did a quick boil of water, threw in Asparagus for 4 minutes, drained, added olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper and there you have it, green food for lunch today! I still have some sweet potatoes left over as well. Throw in some Coconut Flakes for that healthy fat and a few blackberries and my LUNCH is legit!

That’s a wrap!
My workouts will be pretty much back to back. One class this evening and then another at 5am. I should be able to still get plenty of sleep and still have PWO and healthy dinner. The plan for the left over Pulled Pork is to make Carnitas–Style Taco Tower. I don’t have the tool to make it look fancy but I’m sure it will be tasty all the same! I’m so excited that I’m finally committing to this again. I feel good and positive about everything. I’m not dreading the days to come. I will conquer this! You can too! Don’t be scared! Have a Happy Tuesday!

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Getting Prepared for the Whole30

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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.

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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.

About $50 spent here.

About $50 spent here.

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
1/2/13
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!

1/02/14 WOD

1/02/14 WOD

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!

Happy Friday!
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.

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