Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What? Whole30 Again?

shaking my head--yes.

I'm not sure if I was thinking clearly or not, but I decided to rope in a few folks at the gym for Whole30 in September. You know, start the school year off right, make a preemptive strike on the holidays. It's a great idea.

I've got a lot on my plate, and all the food prep for the Whole30 does add just a little bit more to it, making life a tad less flexible, but I'm hopeful.

I've invested in something that is bound to revolutionize my cooking. It's this:

Right now on Amazon it's half price. I suggest you buy one immediately, then subscribe to NomNom Paleo who has amazing recipes written specifically for this gizmo. You'll want to cook the Kalua Pig first. Trust me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Whole30 Day 30: That's a Wrap (a gluten-free wrap, of course)

We finished! Tomorrow when I wake up in the morning I will be able to have cream in my coffee if I want. Alas. I don't have any, so I guess that means I'll stick with the Whole30 drill...I will be adding some stevia. Okay, I confess...I've been putting 3-5 drops of stevia in my coffee all along. I just. couldn't. (I did cut the stevia dose by half, though from what I normally use) I tried, I really, really tried. The good news is, though, that I cut back my coffee consumption considerably, simply because I woke up feeling so much better and didn't need it! One cup of coffee in the morning was all I had most days, and a second if I was feeling cozy, but not because I needed to caffeine-launch myself into the day.

I know I've lost weight. I know I'm healthier. I know I'm actually enjoying vegetables again. I know that I can do this for the long-term. Of course I'm going to eat chocolate again, and the occasional paleo treat that I make for my family that includes honey or maple syrup, but the clean eating style of Whole30 is what I and my family need. I'll keep it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Whole30 Day 23: What is Fitness, Really?

I've been thinking about fitness for two and a half years now, or nearly. I have gone from what I would describe as being completely "unfit" or "out of shape" at the beginning to having (for me) a reasonable level of physical fitness--one that the conventional medical community would probably sign off on, but in my own opinion needs a lot of improvement. I want to improve my core strength, my running skills (when this foot heals up, which is taking a long time), and increase my endurance. I want to continue to reduce my body fat percentage. Thankfully Whole30 is helping in that department, but I still have quite a way to go. But I'm describing here things that only pertain to bodily health.

My experience has shown me that physical fitness is only one-quarter of an equation that I would term overall fitness or well-being. All four areas must be attended to if one wants to be considered truly fit. In order of importance they are: spiritual life, emotional health, material stewardship, and physical fitness. This is not to imply that one must be mastered before another--rather, they are like spinning plates that all must be kept spinning, but at different times one or another may start to wobble. As our skills develop, we are able to tend to more plates more efficiently, but even so, they must be started at some point, and if I were to choose the focus of what must be started when, that is the order.

I place spiritual fitness at the top of the list because really it is the only thing that matters when you lay your head on the pillow at night, not knowing if tomorrow is another day or not. Are you at peace? Are you in right relationship with God? Do you know that you know that you know that your life is secure for eternity? It is from this point that all of the other elements flow.

I place emotional health second because that is a direct link to our spiritual life and every relationship that surrounds us. Are you in right relationship with the people around you? Can you look everyone in the eye without judgment, regret, or pain? Can you forgive others when they wrong you? Do you feel comfortable in your own skin, when you are all alone, or when you are in a crowd of people? Are you at peace with people? Why is this second to spiritual life? The answer is simple--When you are in right relationship with God, right relationship with people follows. When we are constantly striving to find our validation from others, to compare ourselves to others, or to compete and best others, we are worshiping what we are and not who God is. Other humans are not going to sign the admission ticket to eternity. God is. When we see ourselves and others in the proper light of who we really are according to God, it is actually very easy to be at peace with others. The cool thing is that God really, really loves you. and them. even the ugly difficult ones. So stop whatever it is you are doing to try to be better, or work harder. He really doesn't care and neither do those others--God and those other people just want you to be yourself and love them. The great part is you will hold your head higher and sleep better. You will be at peace.

Stewardship of our money and possessions is third on this list because with our spiritual and emotional health in place, we can have a completely different perspective on our money and stuff. If you are living for an eternity which does not rely on our wealth or possessions then those things suddenly mean much less than they did. If you are living in right relationship with people and loving them as you should, what you have to give is yourself, not money and junk. Of course possessions are part of life and we have actual physical needs for certain things, but when we get down to the nitty-gritty, it is so much less than we trick ourselves into thinking we need! We can begin to redirect our resources to meeting the needs of others and showing love in a new and different way rather than self-medicating ourselves with possessions, shopping, alcohol, food, or anything else that we tend to indulge and wallow in. These things ultimately become the proverbial albatross around our necks that we later struggle to rid ourselves of. Getting our financial houses in order helps us to order our priorities, learn to live with less, save for the future, and give to others from our abundance.

Don't assume that because physical fitness is last on the list that I believe it to be unimportant. Quite the contrary. It would be difficult to separate it from financial stewardship in its value simply because it is also a matter of stewardship. 

How we live in our body affects every other aspect of our lives. It is the mirror that reflects how well we are managing the other three aspects of our existences, and it is the plate that must be kept spinning if the others are to function properly. When the body is healthy the mind is clear, the emotions are elevated, the perspective is brighter. When we are in good health we are able to actively attend to our spiritual health our relational health, and our financial stewardship. Every day that we are upright and moving we need to be contributing to the continuation of that state, for every moment invested in our physical well-being will pay dividends. Even in the event of a sudden loss of health, a better level of physical fitness will help in recovery or even enable us to mentally deal with whatever may come. A person who is spiritually and emotionally fit will long to live an active, disciplined life that is productive and changes the world for the better. Physical fitness is vital to the equation. 

So go ahead--spin the plates. Start somewhere, but start. The sooner you start the sooner you can build the skills to have a truly fit life.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Whole30 Day18: Are We There Yet?

Okay, I'll admit. I'm a little bored of this at the moment. I really want a "paleo" muffin. I mean, come on...every ingredient except for the honey (and the fact that it is indeed a muffin) is W30 approved. Just a muffin? Please?

I could not begin to log today's meals if I tried. I know I ate a Lara bar and awholelottaolives at one point because I was in and out of the house at weird times with no time to prepare a decent meal and no leftovers! It's been a busy week.

Even so, we're still staying on course with all W30 approved foods, even when we have a day when the schedule or meal planning is a tad off--like today. I have doggedly refused to step my toe over the line into "illegal" territory.

Sunday is Easter. Our traditional meal every year is rack of lamb with a garlic yogurt sauce. I may have one, tiny, snakey lick. I've already decided that I can't have wine or any desert for Easter, which is typically a paleo feast for us, except for the yogurt sauce. I can turn down desert. Lamb and yogurt sauce on the other hand.

What am I going to do?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Whole30 Day 15: Halfway There!

Whole30 is halfway done as of today! 

I didn't log or blog anything last week--I totally stayed on plan, but was simply too busy and forgot to write things down. I also took a week off from WODs so as to rest my foot. Even though I had done no running or jumping, my foot was feeling pretty battered from going back to my previous workout schedule, and I guess it was just a little too much. I felt like I had a hot stick in my ankle and heel all week. Ugh.

The busy week did run me down a bit, and by Friday I was ready for a break from cooking. We decided to venture out and try to find some food that was as close to Whole30 compliant as possible, and I had a 1/2 cobb salad. I forgot to tell them no feta, and so it wasn't 100% clean, but very, close I think. No ill effects as a result.

This weekend I made a delicious pot of vegetable soup but ran into a problem when I remembered that my mixed vegetables had both corn and peas in it. It's something I never gave much thought to, but then this program is making me think about every ingredient I ingest. I subbed it for just green beans and okra. It went something like this:

10 cups homemade turkey stock (made from a happy turkey who lived a pastured life)
1/2 head green cabbage
4 lg. carrots
4 stalks celery with leaves
1 medium onion
2 lg. cloves garlic
28 oz. diced tomatoes
2 small white potatoes
1 16 oz. bag green beans
1 16 oz. bag okra
1 tsp (approx.) herbs de provence
2 tsp palmfuls thyme 
2 bay leaves
2 - 4 dashes hot sauce
dash of coconut aminos (optional--I almost ruined the soup by adding too much)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook until all vegetables are tender and then add shredded cooked chicken. 


Progress Report: After two weeks of eating the Whole30 way, I can say that I am still doing just fine. The most difficult part is having to have the endurance and forethought to plan and prepare every meal for thirty days straight. I don't want to have to succumb to the "need" to eat out which will most certainly cause me to make a compromise.

I continue to get the best sleep I've had in ages. Anyone who has ever suffered from insomnia understands that you cannot place a value on sleep until you can't get it.

Someone told me today that they can tell I'm losing weight. Cool. I don't know for sure yet, but my pants are feeling more comfortable and one pair is even feeling baggy. 

I am not suffering from any seasonal allergies, which is kind of a miracle for this time of year. 

My skin broke out last week (detox? could be hormones) but has cleared up nicely this week.

Overall, I feel awesome. 

Today's WOD:

1 RM back squat: PR at 190#

3 rounds for time:
   20 calories row
   25 pushups

time: 9:44

Monday, March 23, 2015

Whole30: Week 2 is Underway, I Can Take a Deep Breath

No really, I CAN take a deep breath. Normally at this time of year, I can't. Everyone around me is crying "allergies!" and I'm sitting around with my teeth in my mouth, breathing. My nose is not stuffed up, I'm not wheezing, my husband says I'm not snoring, and my head and eyes feel very clear.

Did I mention that I am sleeping so soundly? I think I may have.

Did I mention that my pants already fit more comfortably? No? Well they do.

But it is great to be over the hump of the first week. My biggest source of stress going into this was how I would manage all the meal planning and kitchen time. When I want a break, this is what I want a break from. It hasn't been so bad. The husband and I have been doing all of the meal prep together, which is nice, and it lightens the load. I'm also being very deliberate in my meal planning to be sure that we have plenty of leftovers for lunches and busy evenings when meals are not going to be easy to plan.

This week we have a Kalua pulled pork from Nom Nom Paleo on deck, a chicken to roast, extra steaks for lunches and steak and egg breakfasts, lots of veggies for salads, avocados to make the salads awesome, 42 cups of turkey broth, and some properly-caught tuna for quick and easy and I'm also really glad that we purchased a couple of boxes of Whole30 compliant Larabars. They have come in handy when I'm having a major craving for something sweet or on the way home from a WOD, but we are eating them sparingly. Suffice it to say that we're certainly not starving, and we're really not suffering.

If you are reading this and wondering about doing Whole30, know that you must go into with a plan. Use Pinterest, use blogs, really study the Whole30 website and inform yourself about what ingredients you cannot have. If you go in knowing that there is going to be a time commitment to food preparation and a mental commitment to not giving into cravings and temptations, the 30 days should be pretty smooth sailing.

Don't be impulsive. Don't think, "This is awesome! Real food! That's like, sweet potatoes and stuff, right? I'm going to do it!" and then fall on your face the first week because you didn't realize that there was actual hard time in the kitchen to be done. Isn't the point of this to get you back in touch with your food, anyway? To remember what it means to eat real, whole, nutritious food?

I am relearning a very important lesson that I discovered the first time I did a major food overhaul like this: to eat well requires me to be at home. Being at home involves spending time in my house--dirty or clean, and with my family--be they pleasant or unpleasant. It comes down to being where I'm meant to be with the people who need me most, meeting our most fundamental needs.

And I'm okay with that.

Day 8 Log:

B - BP Coffee, 2 eggs, banana, turkey broth with gelatin
L - smoothie, veggies, berries, banana, eggs, gelatin
D - steak, asparagus, roasted red potatoes
S - Larabar, almonds

*went a little heavy on fruit today with the extra banana and Larabar. I think I'm craving something sweet.

WOD - letting the foot rest and mobilizing. We'll see how it is tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Whole30 Day 6-7: Throwing Down wi' my Peeps! (CFW Open 15.4)

My favorite day of the CrossFit week is Saturday mornings. I try never to miss a Saturday. Today (and every Saturday during the CF open season) we did Open WOD 15.4, scaled and Rx. My kids did the kids' competition, and I participated in the scaled division. The best thing about Saturdays is the people. You get to see everyone, and people aren't in a big rush to get somewhere else, so they hang out and chat. My closest friends are here, and this is the place where I have measured significant physical changes in my health. It means the world to me.. 


Go Molly!

Push Press, not even sweating. yet.
Got home and prepped dinner tonight. Normally on Saturday evenings we have gluten free pizza and a movie, but since that wasn't an option for us, we decided to go with totally legit, paleo chicken wings, complete with homemade dressing. The next best thing.

I find it very helpful to have a vac-seal machine that can speed up the marinating process.
We've been using Tessamae's for a while. They put nothing offensive in their sauces!
Dinner is served

Saturday, Day 6 
B - BP Coffee, Smoothie
S - Larabar
L - Salad with ham, eggs, avocados, tomatoes, cukes, dressing
D - Chicken wings

WOD - 15.4

Sunday, Day 7 
B - BP Coffee, smoothie
L - leftover chicken wings
S - Almonds
D - Salad 

WOD - rest day

Really feeling the strong desire for something sweet. ugh.