Whole 30 - Results

Do you remember that time I blogged for a couple of weeks in a row and then the blog went dark? Yup, I stopped before the grand finale of Whole 30. And I'm sure if you have been following this journey, you may be thinking that I failed or didn't finish. However, I am proud to say that I completed my first Whole 30. Hallelujah!

I finished my first round at the beginning of this month. Honestly, I am so proud of myself and it became so much easier the last couple of weeks. Whole 30 is all about some NSV (non scale victories) so here are a few of mine:

- clearer skin; much clearer skin
- more energy
- better sleep (although I do take sleeping pills when the need arises)
- a recovered love of cooking (but I would still pay a chef if I had the money)
- better nail growth
- clearer nostrils (were my allergies caused by food?)
- clearer thinking (no mid afternoon slump)
- #DRINKALLTHEWINE (a few months postpartum, I developed an allergy to my beloved wine (like body starts burning/tingling and a rash/hives start creeping up my neck). It is safe to say that I can drink wine again with zero issues. This truly is a huge NSV - many people who have rashes and skin issues find their symptoms disappear once they implement this eating plan.

I really wish that I had taken measurements prior to starting, but I did not. Anyways, I dropped 10 lbs when I weighed on day 31 and was down 13 lbs by the end of the week (23 lbs total since I began working out regularly). My weight loss looked like much more than 10 lbs and I squeezed into pants 2 sizes smaller than when I began. Boom.

I decided not to continue a second round (football season is RIGHT around the corner) and wanted to maintain an 80/20 ratio of eating compliantly. I do plan on starting another round after the holidays (maybe before then if AU doesn't make it to a championship).

In my mind I think I did a pretty decent job this last month. During employee appreciation week I passed on breakfast goodies, sweet snacks, and mac & cheese/bread during the catered lunch - but did eat about half a serving of banana pudding. YUM! I actually have done quite well, but this weekend was a different story. It was a very social weekend for us and I indulged in multiple meals (pizza, wine, shaved ice, "butter" and even had a couple of oreos when I skipped lunch at work one day). This really was A LOT of junk in a short amount of time. Ick.

Aside from feeling guilty, I instantly became lethargic and could not breathe through my nose Friday night until Monday afternoon. It was so bizarre to feel as awful as I did that at one point I wondered if I was becoming ill. Reintroduction has not hit me as hard as it did this weekend. Needless to say, dinner on Sunday evening and meals today have been Whole 30 approved.

With that in mind, I still plan to apply an 80/20 approach to my eating. It is very doable with the proper planning. Eating out is more difficult, but definitely possible. If you have any questions about the program, feel free to reach out. I will have one more Whole 30 post about items I feel are necessary for a successful round. That post may not come out until next year, but it will happen!


Whole 30: Weeks 3 & 4

I kept weeks 3 and 4 quite simple by repeating a bunch of the recipes in the previous weeks. Therefore this post will not have a meal plan breakdown, but I will share any new recipes that I tried. Week 3 was a sad week as I found myself out of town for an unexpected funeral. Because I was traveling and staying overnight at a friend's home, I brought some food with me. It quickly became a joke that I bring my own food and can't have altoids, but I didn't cheat! Plus, it was good for some of us to chuckle through the tears.

A few compliant recipes to try:

Almost 5 Ingredients Pizza Spaghetti Pie - SO delicious! My husband loved it and we both had leftovers for breakfast. Yum! I had never cooked spaghetti squash before, but it turned out great.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken & Gravy

Baked Chicken with Garlic Marinade - I came across this marinade recipe and decided to use it before the chicken breasts in my fridge went bad. It was light & tasty - a perfect summer marinade.

Salads, eggs, bacon, sausage, apples, avocado and roasted veggies continued to be in the rotation.

Have you never roasted veggies? I firmly believe it may be the only way to consume them. Cut up any veggies (I like to mix it up with okra, sweet potato, butternut squash, broccoli, and carrots) and toss them in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). Then season them with Chef Paul's Magic Vegetable Seasoning Blend (funny story - I was grocery shopping with my husband and he asked someone where the "Magic Mike's Seasoning" was. HAHA!). Once seasoned, throw the veggies on a foil lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes (turning halfway). You won't be sorry.

Whole 30 - Week 2

Woo hoo! I made it to the second week and I still have #dishesuptomyeyeballs. This week I completely cut the snacks out. Progress! I also ventured outside of my kitchen and ate at Five Guys & Longhorn Steakhouse. Our family also went out of town to my BFF's daughter's pool party, which meant I packed my own snacks (instead of indulging on the pizza & homemade cake) and looked ahead of time for compliant restaurants in the area.  P.S. Longhorn Steakhouse has a gluten free menu that makes it a little bit easier to order compliantly.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole w/Apple & Almond Butter
Salad (spinach, chicken, apples, cucumbers, avocado, strawberry vinagrette dressing)
Baked, Seasoned Chicken Wings, Sauteed Green Beans & Broccoli

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole w/Carrot Sticks & Guacamole
Salad (again)
Crock Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken & Roasted Okra

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole w/Carrot Sticks & Guacamole
Salad (again)
Cracklin' Chicken & Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole w/Apple & Almond Butter
Leftover Cracklin' Chicken & Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Crock Pot Tacos w/Onions & Bell Peppers in a Coconut Wrap

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole w/Apple & Almond Butter
Five Guys: Double patty burger in a lettuce bun w/mustard, peppers & onions
Leftover Crock Pot Tacos w/Onions & Bell Peppers in a Coconut Wrap

Eggs, Bacon, Veggies
Cucumbers & Guacamole, Peach, Cashews
Five Guys (again): Double patty burger in a lettuce bun w/mustard, peppers & onions

Longhorns: Flo's Filet (no seasoning, no marinade), broccoli (no seasoning), baked potato (salt & pepper)
Steak, Baked Potato w/Ghee & Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Whole 30 - Week 1

 Ah, the first week. Before you realize that it's a second job to stick to the plan and that you will never have an empty sink again. #dishesuptoyoureyeballs Meal planning is key and to help you, here is what I planned for week one.Whole 30 focuses on three, filling, nutritious meals that will keep you full throughout the day. Yup, that means no snacking! Since it was the first week and I knew it would take time to adjust, I did schedule snacks (compliant of course)!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
Monkey Salad
Salad (spinach, chicken, apples, cucumbers, raspberry vinagrette dressing)
Epic Bar
Crock Pot Garlic Roast w/Roasted Okra

Day 1: It was okay - definitely felt challenged when a coworker brought in a banana cake, but I stayed strong! I got a headache around lunch time, which became much worse after a quick run in the heat. It lasted all night and I started feeling really, really sick so I had a few bites of compliant applesauce and went to bed.  

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
Veggie Sticks & Guacamole
Salad (again)
Monkey Salad
Greek Meatballs w/Avocado Tzatziki Sauce & Green Bell Peppers

Day 2: Had another headache after breakfast and took medicine to relieve the pain. 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
Apple &  Almond Butter Sandwiches
Salad from Zoe's Kitchen
Veggie Sticks & Guacamole
Crock Pot Chicken Marinara w/Zoodles & Green Bell Peppers w/Avocado Tzatziki Sauce

Day 3: Once again, I had another headache in the morning and popped another pill. This was also the day I discovered the wonderfulness that is zoodles.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
Eggs, Bacon & Roasted Butternut Squash
Eggs, Bacon & Roasted Sweet Potato

Day 4: I did not have a headache until lunch and passed on the pills this time. Today was also the first day that I felt full and skipped my morning snack. I also wasn't as tired when I sent to bed that night. 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
Leftover dinner from Tuesday
Salad (carrots, avocado, cucumbers, raspberry vinaigrette dressing)

Day 5: Finally! No headaches! I also had an easier time waking up in the morning. It was also the day of a true test: Supper Club. J & I joined some friends for a group dinner complete with non compliant items (pasta, bread, cheese tray), wine, more wine, and "not banana pudding" for dessert. I contributed with a homemade salad so I munched on that and drank my La Croix (still not as good as wine), but I survived.

Eggs, Bacon & Veggies
Apple Slices & Almond Butter
Baked Chicken Wings w/Sauteed Onions & Mushrooms

Day 6: I had an early morning meeting and tried some coconut coffee with coconut oil & cinnamon. I finished most of it, but still miss my coffee creamer.

Eggs, Bacon, & Mushrooms
Leftover Wings w/Toasted Coconut Flakes & Raisins
Apple Slices & Almond Butter

Day 7: Has it been a week already? Will it ever end? Today was the day of the cheerio incident. While I was feeding E breakfast, I picked a cheerio off her plate and put it in my mouth. Immediately I realized what I did and spit it out then proceeded to wash my mouth out. I don't even like cheerios, but woah....I guess I have a habit of snacking on E's food. And my actions may seem drastic, but if you follow the Whole 30 rules, if you screw up then you start over.  I tried regular coffee with coconut oil & cinnamon and it was disgusting. It was also my first week volunteering in the nursery at church where I was surrounded by goldfish. I love goldfish! It was one of the few things I could stomach when my morning all day sickness  made it impossible to eat. Happy to report, I did not have one.

1 week down, 3 more (ish) to go!


Whole 30 - May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

 After reading "It Starts With Food" or shall I say, after reading halfway through the book, I decided to try and complete my first Whole 30. This was decided back in May, but I wanted to make sure I had a firm grasp on the program before beginning.

When I was pregnant with E, my sister gifted us with Jessica Alba's book called "The Honest Life." This began the journey into the world of organics. I've seen many people joke about eating organic, using organic products, etc. While our family definitely does not eat or use organic products 100% of the time, I try my hardest to use them whenever possible. I swear, E lives better than we do. That's what we should be doing for our Munks, right? Her lotion, soap, shampoo, mattress pads, and diaper ointment are just a few of the ways we try to protect her, but we never used cloth diapers. We try not to be too crunchy!

I firmly believe that what we put in our mouths and use on our bodies is so important and decided to give Whole 30 a try. "It Starts With Food" really goes into the science behind the fuel we consume. It can be a dry read, but very informative. Numerous people with aches and pains who are ill and on multiple medications finds themselves pain free, feeling great and off the meds. Thankfully, I don't have these symptoms as a baseline. However, other benefits include: more energy (no afternoon slump), no snacking, no headaches, clearer skin, no mood swings, better sleep and weight loss is possible. Personally, I just wanted to give it a try to see if I could complete 30 days. Weight loss wouldn't be awful either! After a baby and 2 surgeries all in one year, a smaller clothing size would be refreshing.

You cannot start this plan without being organized, organized, organized! I began purchasing a few items prior to the big kick off. Thanks to amazon, I became the proud owner of a spiralizer, ghee, coconut flakes, and Epic bars. I also wanted to choose a 30 day period with little temptation. That stated, I decided to start the Monday after Independence Day to ensure a finish date prior to kick off at Auburn (Atlanta). Whole 30 is not focused on weight loss. The goal is to change your relationship with food and become aware of the ingredients you are feeding your body. This means no weighing yourself until the thirty days are over. I did weigh prior to starting and took pictures, but no measurements. In hindsight, I wish I had. Prior to each week I wrote out the meal plan with the help of Pinterest. Pinterest has been the best resource for compliant creations, which is why I'll post my meal plans each week for any other Whole 30 crazies looking for approved recipes.


Stich Fix #3

Two blog posts in one year? Shut your mouth.

I'm back with my third review of Stitch Fix. Have you heard of Stitch Fix? You can sign up for it here.

On to my third and favorite (thus far) fix review. I had another stylist named Rachel for this fix. With each fix received, the stylist adds a personal note and gives suggestions for how to wear each item and maybe a reasoning for why she chose it for you. I was totally apprehensive when reading Rachel's note because it indicated that she was excited to create another fix for me. However, I have never had Rachel as a stylist. Skepticism aside, my optimism increased as her note was long and detailed. She also sent the mix of the fix I desired (1 dress/skirt, shorts, pants, 2 tops), which means she did pay attention to what I wanted and checked out my style profile. Cheers to you Rachel!

Stitch Fix #3

 41Hawthorn - Renesme Dress

 I am over dresses from Stitch Fix. This was a cute style and did not look hideous when I tried it on, but the design and color is not really me. Spoiler alert: If I had loved 4/5 of my items I would have kept this for the discount. I'm going to pass on the dresses for my next fix as this is the third attempt. I do give the stylist credit for going out of the box; it just didn't work. #next

Level 99 - Shannie Printed Shorts

 Oh man. I requested shorts for my last fix and this one. When I finally received a pair, it was this. I almost have no words for this. Mainly because these shorts were tagged around $70. #nothanks Created with a thin material, I present a pair of drawstring, denim shorts. I didn't mind the print, but I do not have warm fuzzies for light denim. Nor would I pay that much for a pair of shorts that resembled PJ's. I need to mention that price point on my style profile. #next

Market & Spruce - Mori Top

 What a fun top that I would not have picked out for myself. While updating the blog I realized that I need to take closer pictures next time. This top was tagged as pink, but I think it's closer to red. This tank has a cute, maple leaf (maybe?) print in pink (red?) and blue. The only problem is that it has two buttons at the top. What do I despise? Button ups. This top did not fit as the buttons did not lay flat on my chest. However, I did contact Stitch Fix and requested a different size. I really hope it fits in the chest area because I really liked it! #winning #maybe

Margaret M - Emer Printed Straight Leg Pant

 Since my first stitch, I have continuously requested Margaret M pants. This stylist finally came through and sent this beauty. I love the comfortable fit and am super excited about the colored print. My other Emers have held up well and I hope that trend continues. As of now I think I like the cropped style better, but that may change with these. #winning

41Hawthorn - Angela Quilted Detailed Blouse

 This was a pleasant surprise! I was hoping this wouldn't be a plain blue shirt (see my post about my first fix) and was relieved when it wasn't. Around the shoulders the top has a quilted texture and I like the subtle detail in the center of the top. I like the style as it has a cute cut on each side. Additionally, I really liked the bright blue color and do you know what's even better? It matches the blue on my Emers! #winning

Overall, I am hoping this fix will be a 3/5. When I have the time to shop I mainly stick to the Loft as I feel like I always need clothes for work. What I am loving about SF is that the items I keep are things I would not have picked out myself, but they (usually) are acceptable for work and play. I hover around the cheaper price points and so far, (start crossing those fingers) have had zero issues with the items being damaged after wearing and washing. I have requested to keep Rachel as my stylist for the next fix so see you back here in a month!

Stitch Fix #1 and #2

It's a wonderful thing that I do not get paid to update my blog. Or maybe I should - then I would not be such a slacker! After receiving my second Stitch Fix, it is very obvious that I need to share my review with you.

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? You can sign up for it here with my referral link:.

I received my first fix about a month ago. It was a 2/5. When I get a chance, I will update this with the exact names of these items for those of you who sneak a peek before your box arrives.

Stitch Fix #1

Gilli - Adison Dress
 Dresses are welcome and I really like this style/design. However, it fit funny and because it is summer, I sent it back as it looks like more of a winter dress to me. #next

Pixley - Polly Dotted Chevron Tie Waisted Tunic
 This is a horrible picture (not much has changed from my previous blogging days), but this is a tunic (I expressed my love of tunics). It has a sash that you can tie and wear with the shirt. Sometimes I tie it, but it depends on how quickly I am trying to get out the door! Yes, I kept this item. I would not have picked it out for myself, but liked the style and fit. #winning

41Hawthorn - Queensland Dolman Jersey Top
 Another tunic! I love when my stylist listens to me (because I am like such a professional stitch fixer - ha). It was very clingy in all the wrong places, a thicker material (not ideal for the humidity) and very plain. At over $50 it was not worth it IMO. #next

Margaret M - Emer Jaquard Print High Waisted Cropped Pant
 By far, these pants were the most pleasant surprise of all. I requested items for work and am pleased to say these were perfect! The waist is composed of a stretchy material (perfect for post baby, post surgeries, big meals, etc.) and made from a light fabric. They are black with a fun design. I would have never picked these out for myself as they are a style I don't typically love (cropped), but they are fantastic. #winning

Zad - Marley Scroll Detail Drop Earrings
 My last item was a pair of earrings. Eh. I was drawn to them and would have kept them IF the other items would have worked out. Now that baby E (who isn't a baby anymore for my faithful followers) is out of the grabbing stage (knock on wood), I am thinking about accessorizing more. For the price (without the discount) and the quality of the jewelry, I sent them back.

Stitch Fix #2
This fix has played a few mental games with me. I decided to have a quick peek once I received the exciting email that my box had shipped.

You didn't know that you could stalk the items before they arrived on your doorstep? You can. Once it's shipped log into SF and go to checkout. From here you can see the names of the items you are getting and the cost.

I decided to look because I wanted to confirm that the amount I budgeted was realistic. I did not participate in what the majority of SF stalkers do and search for the items on the world wide web. I immediately was disappointed because I was receiving pair of jeans, a dress (not awful) and three tops. Mainly I was angry because I specifically requested business casual items for the bottom half of my body (pants, capris, skirts), casual shorts for summer, and professed my undying love for the Margaret M pants (see above). Not to mention that the note to my stylist and the dislikes on my style profile point blank say no button ups or anything sheer. Guess what items have sheer and button up in the name? Yup, 2/3 tops. Sign. I also had a different stylist from last time. #angela

 Hailey 23 - Gavin Striped Dress
I am very accepting of dresses. However, because I sent the last one back for being too "wintery" I was sad that I received another dress in black and white. It was a very cute cut and would have been appropriate for work, church, etc. Unfortunately, I didn't love it hugging my stomach and would have preferred a different color and lighter material. #next

Collective Concepts - Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse
A word of advice, if it has button up in the title and I shared my disdain for button ups it would be wise to keep it in the warehouse. I did try it on as it is navy and the style was appropriate for work, but our relationship ended there. The top is very sheer (not work appropriate) and although it had a loose fit, my ta-tas were busting through. #next

Lucy Sheer Yoke Knit Tank
Another sheer item. Excellent. I tried this tank on and considered keeping it. I somewhat liked the style, but IMO it is too casual for work. What are those adorable little lines on the front and back of the shirt? They are peepholes. I can see myself sitting in the conference room and a coworker glances over thinking "Can I see through her shirt? Is that her skin showing?" No thanks. I debated keeping it, but won't give in for an item I can only wear at home. #next

Pixley - Eileen Honeycomb Texture Knit Tank
I immediately was attracted to this top as soon as I unwrapped the tissue paper. All through dinner I was hoping this somewhat cropped top would be a good fit. I paired it with the capris (see below) and went to show my husband. J can be quite unfiltered and is a terrible liar, but seemed to really like it. This is a top I feel comfortable wearing to work or out for date night. The shirt I kept from my last fix was also from Pixley so that brand will be requested on my style profile. #winning

Kut From The Kloth - Haiden Straight Leg Jean
This is the item I did not want to love. Thankfully they are jean CAPRIS and not full length jeans as I imagined from my sneak peek. I really liked them. Sign. Unlike my other jean capris they are a darker wash (my sister will be proud) and super soft. Plus, the cuff is stitched so I do not need to waste my time folding them for the perfect sized cuff. I decided to keep them even though I cannot wear them to work....But I can wear them to Game Day. #winning #WDE

As I come to an end for this post, I cannot promise anymore updates for 2015. But I can give you my referral link for SF. Give it a try. The worst case scenario is losing your $20.

And I will not be requesting Angela anytime soon.