Whole30: The Results are (almost) In!

Today officially marks the start of my “Reintroduction” Phase of the Whole30. Following the guidelines (loosely), I began to re-introduce grains today, dairy on Monday, and possibly legumes after that. Sugar is hard to ‘re-introduce’ as it is present in almost all ‘processed’ foods, such as the bread I ate for breakfast this morning (we will get to that in a second). I didn’t eat that much sugar before Whole30, anyways, so I’m sure I will be ok without having a day dedicated to eating spoonfuls of it.

So this morning, I woke up, SO excited to weigh myself…because that’s how they tell you to judge progress on the Whole30, mmk? (extreme sarcasm, for those who are not familiar with the program). I had to stop myself from RUNNING to the gym..and what do you know, the scale was MIA. Seriously. I scowered every inch of that room with my hawk eyes and sad wandering..it was gone. Perhaps this is a sign?

Slightly saddened, but trying to take it as a sign from the Whole30 gods, I reluctantly gave up on the idea and set my sights on the next major event of the day: the piece of toast I was going to have for breakfast and had been craving for 30 days. I got it, along with my usual eggs, tomato slices, and half-grapefruit. I felt a bit guilty putting that piece of toast on my plate..I thought this was supposed to help with food relationships? (I suck at that, though). I persevered..this was all part of my plan! And guess what? It sucked. It wasn’t good at all, and I was severely dissapointed. That is NOT what I thought I was missing. It may have had something to do with the lack of almond butter, but I was still dissapointed. I felt fine afterwards, and didn’t notice much of a difference in my mood, energy, etc. Maybe my tastebuds really have changed. I stayed full until lunch. My second-go at bread was half a tuna-sandwich for lunch. When I started this whole thing, I was SUPER anti-“gluten free”. Yeah, you read that right. I DO NOT like, or agree with the fact that “GLUTEN FREE!” has become the new fad diet. Stupid. Wrong. Uneducated. Ignorant. Now, that’s not to say that some people don’t genuinely have issues with gluten, but it’s not a “GET SKINNY” fix for people with no intolerance (IMHO).. Pre-Whole30 Ashley would NEVER go gluten free, because she has absolutely NO problem with gluten…and really, really loves bread….

My Whole30 in Summary:

  • 20 minutes after eating my lunch sandwich I was in the bathroom and remained in there for close to 15 minutes (TMI?). I am not feeling good, and have (what I would consider to be) extreme bloating, gas, (TMI AGAIN –>) diarrhea, and overall discomfort. <– Does this mean post-Whole30 Ashley is gluten intolerant? Now I am scared, and I dont ever want to eat bread again (honestly, that’s the thought I am having). I will discuss further with my doctor on Tuesday.
  • I didn’t get the whole “TIGER BLOOD” phase, at all. Whole30 will lead you to believe that this means you need to take on a Whole45, or Whole60. I don’t think this would have been the case for me, so I decided against an extension (that, combined with the fact my husband may have left me..). I ate pretty darn good before Whole30, with cottage cheese and toast with all-natural peanut butter at breakfast being the only common ‘offenders’ I had to remove. I think for someone who ate a lot of processed foods, sugar, etc. that you would probably get this. However, my energy levels are always pretty consistent (and good) throughout the day. I didn’t notice a huge change here.
  • I am VERY interested to see what changes my blood test (which I get on Tuesday) will show, when compared with the one done prior to starting the challenge. My hypothyroid symptoms have definitely improved, and I feel good about the changes I have made in my diet.
  • My bloating and digestion did not improve. Weird how that works. I will definitely be discussing this with my Naturopath, but I am attributing this to a combination of my thyroid monster, and a potential nut (or fruit, or egg) sensitivity. I am going to try an elimination diet of these foods, next. (ugh)
  • I am going to continue eating this way, unless a really great treat comes along. I wont make some kind of “80/20” rule, because I don’t think that is creating a healthy relationship with food (for me, at least). Instead, if I happen to come across a delicious, homemade, to-die-for treat at some point, I will likely eat it. But I won’t be eating Subway cookies, shitty donuts, or any kind of pre-packaged grocery store ‘treat’.

And, this wouldn’t be a Whole30 Results blog post if I didn’t include my “Non-Scale Victories”:

  • I am able to eat three meals a day, happily, and without hunger. Coming from the girl who LOVED to snack, and ate at least 6 mini-meals a day, prior to Whole30, this is a serious accomplishment. I have always avoided giving myself the chance to feel ‘hunger’, as it usually leads to binges for me. It is hard to binge on lean meats and vegetables. Win.
  • I have more stamina at the gym: noticeably and consistently. Although I mentioned above that my energy levels throughout the day didn’t really change from pre-Whole30, my gym performance definitely improved. I was able to run further, harder and for much longer than usual. I also didn’t have the lazy, lagging muscle feeling that I often had before (which I attribute strongly to my good friend, Hashimoto’s).
  • My before/after photos show a real difference, especially in my legs/waist area. I am contemplating posting them..but they were taken without the intention to do so, and are a bit less G-rated than I’d like to share with the general population. We will see. I am also going to take my measurements on Monday, when I get home from camp.
  • I actually enjoy black coffee now? and will continue to drink it this way, or occasionally with organic coconut milk (the real stuff, from the can). [I also have a thing for coffee as a ‘green smoothie’ base..add a bit of raw cocao powder, tons of kale/spinach, and a banana or berries..you’ve got yourself a serious treat (try this)]
  • I learned soo many new recipes and no longer feel as though my meal is ‘incomplete’ without adding rice, pasta or some other form of grain.

Overall, I am definitely happy I did this. I do feel as though Whole30 has changed my life, but not in the typical “OMG. TIGER BLOOD HOLY SMOKES I NEVER WANT TO EAT SUGAR AGAIN” sense. Rather, it has given me a better understanding of foods, cravings, hunger, and given me TONS of awesome new recipes and ideas. I am happy eating this way. And, as mentioned, aside from the occasional treat, should it ever NEED TO BE EATEN, I will continue to do so. Every single person seems to say that in their Whole30 wrap-up rants..but I truly mean it. I guess only time will tell, along with how my body reacts to the dairy re-intro..

 

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“I want a burger”

I think that has to be my husband’s favorite text ever.. I’m sure many men dream of sultry texts from their wives, illustrating what’s to come that evening. ..but not mine. Nope, he’s just stoked that burgers are in his near future. That’s his favorite dinner, too (I got lucky), and if I throw on a few pieces of bacon and a fried egg, I win the wife-of-the-hour award…easy peasy.  I wish I could see the smile on his face when he got it.. much better than “chicken breast and salad for dinner”, I’m sure.

Mine will be sans bun, as usual, and maybe I’ll go the “grass-fed, organic, triple the price, local, 100% all-natural, Alberta beef” route.. that would be healthy. 😉

 

Go burgers.

 

P.S. I had a Naturopath appointment last night, and thus have a blood test today…soon… I am diabolically afraid of needles..especially the kinds that stab into my veins. This will also be my first blood test in many, many years where I do not force J to accompany, stand too close for comfort, and allow me to burry my head and nails into his body. He’s the best human stress ball there is. ❤ When I am nervous, I’m kind of like a 10-year old who’s had way too much sugar: hence the burger post.

Finger’s crossed they don’t miss my vein..

New goals, fresh start.

Before the wedding, I was getting a bit obsessed with ‘getting fit’. I was working out to exhaustion, eating specifically according to my ‘plan’, and working with a ‘coach’. I say coach in quotations because, looking back, I should have listened to my husband: she had no idea. She made me cut out foods that I loved, and I listened. I’m not talking chips and cookies here, either. I’m talking organic, unsweetened coconut milk in my smoothies. But she told me it was bad, so I listened. She made me stop eating carbs at lunch, and I listened.

Guess what happened? I was cranky, upset, hungry (at times), over full (at other times)..but most of all, I wanted coconut milk, and carbs at night. BADLY.

I was so worried about the wedding. I was so, so paniced. The used-to-be fat girl inside of me kept worrying that when I got my wedding pictures back I would regret it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. If I hated the way I looked in my wedding photos, I’d always regret it.

The big day came, I had my hair and my makeup done, my Mom laced me into my dress, and I put on my earings. Guess what? Not once did I think about what size I looked. Not once. For me, this was a miracle.

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I went the entire day, and I felt like a princess. I was so happy, and so surrounded by people I loved. It was magical. And I didn’t think about my size. Not once.

On our honeymoon, I walked around in my little bitty bikini…and I rocked it (at least I think I did). I ate way too much food, and I had absolutely anything and everything I wanted for two whole weeks. I didn’t worry about a carb, a fat, and a protein with every meal. I didn’t have 6 meals a day or stop eating carbs at lunch, I just ate. I just lived.

After 14 days of this craziness, we flew back home. I mustered up the courage to climb aboard the scale to judge the damages. Pulling the blue glass scale out from beside the bathroom sink, all those feelings came back. I hadn’t even weighed myself yet and I was thinking “you shouldn’t have eaten all that”. Guess what? I lost 4 pounds during our trip.

I joked with J that the ‘burger’ diet was good for me, and he smiled. He loves seeing me confident in myself, I can tell. “I told you,” he said “you just have to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. I know you’ll never let yourself go overboard”. I love him.

So that, my friends, is my new plan. Since we only really buy organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed meats, and whole grains, I should be good to go. Noted that this ‘plan’ probably wouldn’t work for someone who’s taste buds are in a loving relationship with oreos and lucky charms, but I think I’ve got this in the bag.

I am going to up the workouts now that we’re back, and I’m going to eat like a normal, healthy person. Lots of fruits, lots of veggies, and carbs whenever I damn well feel. If I want ice cream, or frozen yogurt, I’m going to eat it..just not for five consecutive days. I am excited to see what happens next. I want abs, and we all know those are made in the kitchen. Come on kitchen, get cooking! 😉

I feel happy…and I feel healthy. I could get used to this wife stuff.

Burrr…Thursday rant.

I’m so cold. All the time!  Right now I am sitting in my office with the space heater running at max, trying to over-ride the air conditining that my manager has blasting in this place. It makes me so sleepy though… this blog post, while perhaps quite useless and uninformative, is my attempt at making it through the next few hours of my shift without taking a desk nap.

It’s summer time here, and the weather is great..it’s hovering around 30 degrees (that’s 86 in Fahrenheit, according to Google..which might not seem hot for some, but for us, it’s pretty standard. It sometimes might get to about 35 (or 95F), but that’s about the max). It’s also insanely dry here and there’s no ocean…so the heat feels a bit like a desert. But guess who LOVES IT? This girl. Maybe I need to move somewhere I hear about on TV where 100F is the norm…mmm…let’s cook an egg, shall we?

You know that feeling of climbing into a scortching car after it’s been sitting in the sun all day? Lovely..only a few more hours..haha  James thinks I am absolutely nuts and we constantly fight over the air conditioning level in the car. Air conditioning sucks. Give me hot, hot, sweltering, unventilated car heat anyday over AC.

P.S. I am getting married in two weeks.

On that note, let’s unleash the Bridezilla for a bit, shall we? I’ve never been to a wedding, and this is the first one I’ve ever been a part of planning…so please correct me if any of my stated information or feelings are wrong.

Say someone invites you to a wedding.. a wedding that has specifically stated (through both word of mouth and their beautiful wedding website) that children will, unfortunately, not be invited to the event due to space constraints, as well as the fact that the venue does not allow minors. Now,  would you think it would be reasonable to ask the host(s) if you could PLEASE bring your kids? “No one else even has to know”.. Or, how about request that you please ADD ADDITIONAL PERSON(S) to your invite? I’ve had several inquiries lately, ranging from “My husband can’t come, so I’m bringing my child in his place”, “My son wants to come, and he is bringing his girlfriend”, “Will there be booze at the ceremony??” to “I think it’s absolutely unfair that my children cannot come and we will not be attending since our family comes as a single unit.”, and even “I am thinking of leaving my husband, but I am unsure. Would it be okay for me to put an alternate name down as my plus 1, just in case?”. <– That is real.. I swear it is.

Crazy. Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe they are. Everyone has told me since the begining of this planning that I cannot be worried about other people, that “this is [our] special day”, and “not to let it get to [me]”..but I feel like a bit of a psycho/meany-pants/bridezilla/control freak when I have to say “no”, “no”, “no”, “yes”, “okay”, “maybe”, “sorry”, “sure”, or, “I’ll get back to you”, to each of these requests.

I get it..but please understand, folks… I’m truly sorry you can’t bring your kids, and (as a non-parent) I cannot begin to imagine how horrible it must be for you to have one free night away from them (I’ve offered to pay for a sitter).  I’m also sorry that our venue only allows us to accomodate a small number of people, and that we have chosen to have an intimate wedding with only our close family and friends. I am also sorry that your 14-year old son wants to bring his girlfriend, but unfortunately I am not interested.I am sorry that you feel the need to drink during our ceremony, but that, unfortunately, will not be available until afterwards. I’m also sorry that I’ve never met your five year old golden retriever, and I’m sure he’s lovely..but we are not having animals at the wedding (other than Monkey and Benjamin, because they are my soul babies). <– okay, I guess that answer’s it.. It’s me who’s crazy.

Oh wait, no I’m not sorry. We invited each and every single one of you to share in our special day because you’re important to us. Please come, and pack a smile and well-wishes…that is all we ask. If you don’t agree with the way we are organizing our big day, we truly hope you can get over it, but if not, you will unfortunately not be welcome (and no, your sister’s cat cannot take your place).

So, my special friends, that ends my crazy rant (sorry if I offended anyone).

In closing:

I promise that if I am ever invited to a wedding I will come as I am, and if Jamie is not available (or even not invited!), I will come alone. I will not ask if I can bring my sister’s cousin’s friend and his entire family. I promise. I will cheer when you kiss, and I will probably cry too, even if you are wearing black and ONLY invite children–I want your day to be perfect–for you. Good luck fellow brides, try to remember to breathe..

 

Fancy Friday and Body Fat Testing

Good Morning! It’s Fridayyyy!

Usually when I wake up on Friday’s, my first thoughts are:

  • BABE!! We can stay up LATE tonight and SLEEP IN tomorrow
  • Tomorrow is cheat day and I’m eating Indian food (I am addicted and it’s my ‘cheat’ choice every single week)
  • I get to wear jeans today

Point 1 and 2 were right on time…however today I decided not to wear jeans (our office has been letting us wear jeans for the past week to celebrate the Calgary Stampede). Instead, I have opted for a Fancy Friday..hehe. My mom bought me this dress in Vegas, and I have to fight not to wear it a few times a week (in love). I don’t have a lot of ‘expensive’ (the dress was about $100, so only really ‘expensive’ to my small-town budget) clothes, and I think I just love the way the fabric feels. Oh, and it makes me feel fancy –hence Fancy Friday..Ben really likes it too, as you can see. He spent the entire morning following me around, flopping down, and licking my ankles (weirdo).

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After work, I am meeting with my trainer getting my measurements done, progress pictures taken, and body fat tested. This will be my second test as I did another one exactly one month ago. I’m pretty nervous. I’ve been working so hard, and I really hope the number has gone down. I don’t really feel like I look any different. With my luck, it’s probably gone up a few percent.. haha.

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These are my previous progress photo comparisons. These photos were taken one month apart, I was working my ASS off and eating clean, clean, clean. As you can see..I look exactly the same.In fact, I may even look worse in the front facing one.. lol 😦 Boo!!!! But I didn’t give up!! I am still working out 6 days per week, eating careful, and remaining hopeful.

P.S. I know I don’t need to loose any weight. But I do want to build muscle and tone my body. 3 years ago I was 220 pounds, and I’ve fought HARD to get to this stage. I’ve sweat, and cried, and thrown up from working so hard. It’s been a serious struggle…but I made it to this point. Maybe someday I will post “220lb me” photos..but not today.

 

FINGERS crossed for tonight!!! Wish me luck 🙂

 

 

Random, random, random..oh and overnight oats.

Lately I have been grumpy. Really grumpy. I’ve been tired..and SO frustrated at the fact that my body will NOT release the pounds. Get. Off. Of. ME!!! I haven’t been sleeping well, my eyebrows are literally falling out (yeah I know I already said that a few days ago.. but that shit is real) and the days have been going by really slow at work. Jamie is a trooper at putting up with me (some days more than others…we are both stubborn and fight like siblings at times–I blame it on both being Taurus 😉 ). I am thinking of making this cake:IMG_20140710_114319

Think it will make up for everything?!

Anyways, I got home from work yesterday and Jamie was hard at work. He’s been off work for two weeks and he’s got so much accomplished. He built a shed and organized allll his man stuff, and cleaned the house and did like 20 loads of laundry that I’ve been only slightly ‘avoiding’

LOOK WHAT HE MADE US:

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Now just a quick ‘Throw Back Thursday’ to last summer when I decided to dig up some of our lawn and  start this little treasure:

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Forgive the ugly lawn… (we had just moved in and the snow had JUST melted)

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Go me!

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Me and the dogs collected (okay…stole) these rocks from an empty lot across the road.

*so, as you can see, I pretty much did all the hard work… hehe

Anyways, he’s a superstar and I love him to pieces…so I just HAD to make it up to him. Dinner was a delicious concoction that I half-invented/half-stole the idea for. I didn’t take pictures because it was SO ugly, but I’ll post some next time I make it and master the art of “cooking for photographs”.. 😉 A little bit of instagram, perhaps?

Basically it was zucchini and carrot ‘noodles’ with an avocado ‘pesto’ sauce. We had it with fresh, wild cod and it was a-mazing. Here is my lunch and snack (leftovers):

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I also made up a huge batch of (^^) turkey meatballs (^^) using a mini muffin container. They’re just extra lean ground turkey, chopped shallot, salt, pepper, and Flavor God seasoning. Oh. My. God. If you’ve never heard of Flavor God…check it out! Seriously!

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I also made Jamie overnight oats, as he’s usually too auto-pilot in the morning to cook for himself, and ends up going to Tim Hortons for a bagel and this doesn’t sit well with my “anti-white flour” lifestyle. Say no to diabetes!

Blah, blah, blah…Sorry for the essay on my life, but there is a point to this story:

USE COCONUT WATER IN YOUR OATMEAL!!!

Just do it. It’s so delicious. I usually use almond/coconut milk or just plain water (boring and not recommended..but fewer calories ;))

Just mix together the following in some kind of sealed container :(use a mason jar if you want to feel rustic!)

  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coconut water (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds ( I would have used two if it were for me ;))
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 of an apple* (guilty..I ate the other 1/4)

Put the lid on the container, shake it up to mix, and put it in the fridge overnight (or for 4+ hours). In the morning the oats will be sooo yummy, and the chia seeds add a great texture to them. You can eat them warm or cold (I love them cold, Jamie says I’m gross).

 

Ta daaaaaaaaaaaaa…….

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*depending on how you like your oats, you may want to steam the apple for a bit before adding it in. A quick, easy way to do this is just to chop it up and throw it in a bowl in the microwave with a tiny splash of water. This just makes it a bit softer…