Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 7 of 40 - Still Dragging

I popped in an exercise DVD this morning, and as soon as I started to warm up, I knew I was going to have my rear end handed to me on a platter. And I was only doing level 1. Wow. I just barely got through it! At first I thought, "Man, I can't believe my fitness has gone this far down hill in such a short time!" Then I thought, "Maybe it's because the whole family was wide awake from 3am to 5am." But then I remembered that I'm on day seven of a Whole30, and that often means general sluggishness. Hopefully this will pass soon, and my energy levels will start to rise again.

Breakfast: A bowl of shredded pork with grape tomatoes and banana peppers. Can't have kale and eggs every day! Two cups of decaf with coconut milk.
Lunch: Tuna salad salad! I mixed a can of light tuna with a quarter of an avocado and about two tablespoons of the homemade mayo I whipped up yesterday. (SO good!) Then I seasoned it with sea salt and curry powder, and ate half of it over a bed of mixed greens. YUM. Oh, and then I had 10 cherries. (Still love cherries.)
Supper: Rib night! I dry rubbed them and braised them for a couple of hours with some stock, then slathered on some Whole30-approved BBQ sauce (from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook) and Francis grilled them up with a side of grilled asparagus. Which we ate entirely with our fingers. We were quite the primal family. :) And then I ate six cherries. Seriously, can't get enough of them!
Snacks: Two small Paleo chicken nuggets that I'd made for the kids for lunch. Just enough to keep me going until their nap time when I could eat my own lunch. A small handful of macadamia nuts while cooking the barbeque sauce.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 6 of 40 - Ugh.

It was most definitely a textbook day 6 for me today. Dragged my sorry carcass around this morning, slept two hours this afternoon, then made a lazy supper. Glad Zumba is cancelled for tonight!

Instead of working out this evening, my body is begging for a long, hot bath with a good book and some relaxing music. My amazing sister-in-law brought me a bag of sleep-inducing bath salts, and today seems like the perfect day to take them for a test-drive. And then be in bed by 8:30pm.

Breakfast: What else? Kale and eggs and coffee (decaf) with coconut milk.
Lunch: Two chicken thighs, a drumstick and about a cup of cherries. What? I was really hungry and in a rush. Don't judge.
Supper: Breakfast! Two fried eggs, four pieces of bacon, sliced cucumber and sweet potato slices - fried in coconut oil with cayenne pepper and sea salt. YUM. Hard to resist having another cup of decaf with that kind of dinner.
Snacks: Three strawberries and a medium-sized snack ball.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 5 of 40 - Happy Anniversary!

On this date six years ago I married my best friend. No, really. Francis and I had been friends for four years, and very good friends and co-workers for a year before we began a romantic relationship. I had often heard it said that relationships based on friendships were the strongest, but I'd never experienced it before - I'd always dated guys first and then gotten to know them over the course of our relationship. Because Francis and I already knew each other so well, our relationship got serious very quickly. We weren't allowed to officially date for the first two months after discovering our feelings for each other (since I was his supervisor at work), but once we started actually dating it was less than six months until he proposed - then seven months until the wedding.

(Even with the 10lbs I regained, I still currently weigh about 15-20lbs less than I did in that photo.)

Our relationship has only gotten stronger over time, as we've faced the challenges of parenthood (three babies in three years!), moving, him finishing his education and beginning his career, buying a home, and life in general. 

This guy really is my biggest cheerleader. Whatever I choose to do, he supports it. And this has made all the difference on my path to weight-loss and greater health. When I wanted to join Weight Watchers but wasn't sure about the cost, he said it was no problem to include it in the monthly family budget. When I wanted to quit eating gluten, he started buying me rice pasta and other things I could eat. When I wanted him to try quitting wheat, he gave it a shot - for me - and was surprised by the difference in how he felt. When I wanted to go off the deep end and do this crazy Whole30 the first time, he jumped right in with me. When I need to make time to work out, he looks after the kids without batting an eye. When I need a nap, same thing. And on days when I just can't deal with cooking, he knows where to pick up a delicious rotisserie chicken that makes the whole family happy.

He just makes my life better in every possible way.

Breakfast: A hamburger patty with half an onion cooked in ghee, a small slice of yesterday's frittata with grilled veggies. Two cups of decaf with coconut milk.
Lunch: Leftover pork with a quarter of an avocado, banana peppers and cherry tomatoes.
Supper: Meatza from Well Fed topped with sliced chicken breast, red onion, banana peppers and heirloom tomatoes. Supper was made by my beloved, and we dined after the children were in bed. Closest thing we get to an anniversary date with no babysitter!
Snacks: A small snack ball and about a cup of cherries.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 4 - It Doesn't Happen Over Night

"I've been eating perfectly for three and a half days already - why am I not skinny yet?!"

Ever had an irrational thought like that? Like, as long as you're putting in good effort, the results should be visible instantly? I saw a discussion much like this the other day on Facebook; some women were saying that after a great work-out they run to the mirror to check out their new muscles - which aren't there yet.

Even though I know (firsthand) that what I'm currently doing works for me, it's still easy to get weighed down by the frustration of not seeing quick changes. Why do I get like this? A lifetime of wanting the quick-fix, the easy way out. Yo-yo dieting, fad diets which often promise over-night results*, and a dieting culture which generally sets us up for disappointment.

I'm not going to give in to these irrational frustrations, though. Like I said, I have seen this work in my own body. Last time I did a Whole30, I lost just over seven and a half pounds in 30 days. I didn't count calories, weigh, measure or track points. There were no gimmicks, no packages, powders or pills. It was unlike any "diet" I've done. I ate food that nourished me, and my weight responded favourably. But even more than that, my energy, my complexion, and my view of food changed favourably as well. I'm trusting this process. And I'm enjoying the food while I do.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and kale, coffee with coconut milk. (I put some regular in with my decaf today. Simply because Baby Belle was up before 5am, and I knew I wouldn't make it through Princess' soccer "tournament" day without some help.)
Lunch: Frittata with leftover grilled veggies from last night and three slices of bacon.
Supper: Shredded pork in the crock pot** with sliced avocado and banana peppers. A side of roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and purple cauliflower (Princess' pick from the farmer's market).

*I once did a two-day juice fast with an old roommate which promised we would lose up to 10lbs in two days. Yup, I spent about $25 on that juice. Talk about falling for a gimmick!

**Want a quick dinner idea? Toss a pork shoulder (or other roast) in a crock pot with 1/2 cup chicken stock, two thinly sliced onions, and 3-4 Tbsp of the spice mixture from this recipe. Let your crock pot run for 6-8 hours on low then shred the meat with two forks. YUM!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 3 of 40 - No Caffeine!

Head. Ache.

That's the result of combining my first caffeine-free day with a three-year-old who's just in the mood to argue with everything I say, and disobey everything he's asked to do. Music Man really knows how to push my buttons! I keep hoping this is just a phase and it will pass soon. I'm exhausted and running out of patience.

Other than a leisurely stroll around the mall with the kids this morning, I took the day off from exercising. I'm still sore from the last two days, so I decided to give my body a break.

Breakfast: Three scrambled eggs with sauteed kale. Two cups of straight decaf with coconut milk. A handful of cherries.
Lunch: Two red leaf lettuce wraps filled with spicy guacamole, sliced chicken breast and cherry tomatoes, with a side of roasted broccoli. It didn't really look like a lot of food on my plate, but it was delicious and filling!
Supper: A burger bowl with grilled zucchini, red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper and red onion. Burger bowl? Well, I don't really enjoy eating burgers in lettuce wraps, and sometimes I want something easier than trying to eat it politely with a knife and fork without my toppings sliding all over the plate. So instead, I chop the burger patty, chuck it in a bowl with whatever toppings I'm in the mood for - which tonight was sliced tomato (freshly picked from our community's "Giving Garden"), onion sauteed in ghee, and more spicy guacamole.
Snacks: More of the homemade larabar mixture. I make it for the kids, honest. But then I end up eating it, too. Why? Because raisins and prunes and coconut and cinnamon and almonds all mixed up together is like CANDY. Which means I need to stop eating it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 2 of 40 - Not Doing That Again!

I took a different brand of iron this morning. Boy, was that a mistake! I felt awful all morning, until my body finally ejected the offending stomach contents. (Another reminder of why I'd rather not be pregnant right now. Nine months of all-day "morning" sickness!) I will not be taking that brand of iron any more! Sure it's nice that it was only a dollar since it was prescription, but I'd rather shell out the $20 for the brand that doesn't make me vomit. Crucial to the whole effectiveness thing.

Breakfast: Two fried eggs and two small sweet potato latkes (cooked in ghee) with a cup of half-decaf and coconut milk.
Lunch: BIG today! (After losing my breakfast, my body was HUNGRY.) An Italian sausage, about a third of a chicken breast, a handful of cherry tomatoes, some sliced cucumbers and a handful of cherries. (Have I mentioned I love when cherries are in season?)
Supper: Smoky bacon-wrapped chicken breasts (yup, it's good bacon) with lightly-sauteed-then-steamed bok choy (in olive oil and loads of garlic).
Snacks: A homemade larabar-ish thing with raisins, prunes, almonds, coconut and cinnamon. Definitely a carby-er choice than I'd normally make, but my stomach was still feeling off from the iron, and that was what was appealing. And some cherries. Man, I love cherries.

Exercise: My first Zumba class! There's a drop-in class available at the local arena (which is about a four minute walk from my house) for only $5. I've been threatening to try it out for ages, but just hadn't gotten around to it. When a friend told me she was going tonight, I couldn't pass up the chance to make a fool of myself with at least one familiar face in the room!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 1 of 40

Here goes nothing everything!
My starting weight: 132lbs. That's up 11lbs since the end of my first Whole30. *sigh* Oh well, no point wasting time in feeling guilty. Better to spend the energy on getting healthier again.

What I will do in the next 40 days:
-Get plenty of rest. Since I can't always count on my kids to sleep all night, and since I know they get up at the butt-crack of dawn every day, this will mean getting myself in bed at a reasonable time every night. No later than 10pm, except for the odd special occasion.
-Take my vitamins diligently, and drink my new licorice root extract tea.
-Modify my exercise routine. The plan is to basically follow Mark Sisson's advice - sprint session once a week, two days of "lifting heavy things" (I'll do the 30 Day Shred video on those days - I don't love it as much as the Inside Out videos, but I need to slow down a little for now), and go for long walks on the other four days.
-Get a handle on my portion sizes. I'm going to be more mindful of actually stopping when I'm full, and only starting to eat when I'm truly hungry.
-Quit drinking coffee. Again. Soon.
-Post daily.
-Celebrate every success!

What I won't do in the next 40 days:
-Indulge in any SWYPO foods, unlike my last Whole30.
-Eat any non-approved foods/ingredients.
-Use fruit to replace junk food when a sugar craving hits.
-Pig out on something just because it's an "approved" food.
-Take any measurements. (I know this works. And I'll know when my clothes start to fit better.)
-Continue to beat myself up for the bad choices I've made, instead of focusing on making a better choice in the moment.

What I hope to do in the next 40 days:
-Lose 10lbs. Yup, 10. On my last Whole30 I lost 7.6lbs, and that was without paying attention to portions at all for most of it. I figure I probably have three to four pounds of water retention alone to get rid of.
-Learn to manage my sugar cravings and my emotionally-driven appetite.
-Finally wean Baby Belle. We had been making good progress there, until our unexpected trip. Time to recommit!

Today's eats:
Breakfast: Sauteed kale and two scrambled eggs (cooked in ghee) with cherry tomatoes and a cup of half-decaf (weaning myself off the full-strength coffee I was downing when I was at my parents' house!) with coconut milk. I also had three or four cherries. I had intended to eat a few more than that, but my kids decided they wanted to share.
Lunch: A big ass salad - mixed greens, grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds, sliced chicken breast and compliant Italian dressing. Then I had a small bowl of raspberries because we'd gotten them ready for Baby Belle who promptly decided
Supper: Two Italian sausages with guacamole and roasted cauliflower with a few cherries on the side.
Snacks: A small handful of macadamia nuts and a medjool date.

Exercise: Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred - but I took a few breaks, and did the modified versions of a few of the moves. I'm trying to be mindful of not over-doing it while trying to heal my adrenals. Trying.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Home Again, Home Again...

...and getting my sh!t together.

My two weeks in my hometown was a total binge-fest. There, I said it. I don't exactly feel better for having said it, but at least it's out in the open. If I can't be honest in blogland, then what's the point of writing here?

When I finished my first Whole30 in the spring, I really thought I'd gotten a pretty good handle on my emotional eating. I knew I wasn't cured but I thought it was much better. It wasn't until the date for me to shave my head was fast approaching that I started to stumble down the slippery slope a little. I was able to get somewhat back on track after that, until a couple of weeks ago.

My grandmother's death rocked my world pretty hard. I know I wasn't dealing with it in the most positive way, and I was too easily influenced by the habits of those around me. For starters, we're an Irish family. Nana passed away on Sunday morning and was buried on Wednesday afternoon. That means Sunday night through Wednesday night involved a lot of bonfires, and a lot of beer. Not only should I have avoided the amount of alcohol I consumed, but I know full well that the gluten in beer is poison for me. My body just can't take it. Yet on the Wednesday we said goodbye to our family's matriarch, on what would have been her 86th birthday, I ate two slices of pizza, four breaded chicken wings and drank at least five cans of beer. (It might have been more. I wasn't worried about counting.)

From there it got worse, nutritionally speaking. I don't even want to list the garbage I ate between then and now. I'm scared to step on the scale tomorrow and see how much weight I actually re-gained. Actually scared. I know it's not an insignificant amount. I haven't weighed myself in ages, but I know my clothes fit differently, my body feels different, and as a result my confidence is in the toilet. I'm angry with myself for letting this happen, but at the same time I know that the only way to make a change is to face reality first. I'll weigh-in and do measurements tomorrow morning for Day 1 of a Whole40. (Hopefully I'll be brave enough to post the numbers!)

Yes, this time I'll be doing this for forty days instead of thirty. For one, the Biblical significance of forty days and forty nights appeals to me. :) Secondly, I think - for me - a little longer is a little better. Practice makes perfect, right? And thirdly, doing a full forty days will take me from now into my next trip back to my hometown. I need to be prepared, and I need to have a good structure to survive (nutritionally-speaking) my time there.

Tomorrow I'll post my goals for the upcoming forty days as well as log my food. That means today, I'd better get myself to the grocery store!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Sorry for the absence. At first it was a happy little unintentional break - a natural consequence of my husband being home from work for the summer.

Now, however, I'm sad to say I'm in the midst of an unexpected trip to my hometown. We got a call on Friday that my beloved grandmother was in the emergency room. Saturday's call reported that she was improving, but would need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days for antibiotics and oxygen. Sunday morning we were so shocked to be wakened at 5:30 by a call informing us she had passed away during the night. She just went to sleep, and peacefully slipped from this life into the next.

It is just such a sad time for our whole family. Nana was predeceased by her firstborn and her husband, and is survived by seven children, six children-in-law, fourteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren - all of whom loved and respected her deeply. She was a true matriarch, and our family is suffering so much over this loss. We know that she is now freed from all her earthly pains and illnesses, and is rejoicing with her saviour in whom she placed all her trust throughout her life. But her presence is missed so profoundly here.

Today we celebrate not only her funeral Mass, but also what would have been her 86th birthday. I love you Nana, and I always will. You are terribly missed.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.