Saturday, October 25, 2014

Trip to Washington Farms

We finally made it to Washington Farms.The boys think they are too big for any of the activities at the Pumpkin patch, but I was happy they agreed to go and at least pick out a pumpkin.  Kerry had to work all day so it was just the three of us. We went and had lunch at LaParilla afterwards (which was really hard, considering I'm in the middle of the Whole30 challenge). Here are a few pictures of our day. 
Washington Farms 2014

Carson found one

LaParilla for lunch 

Whole30: 20 Days In!!

Today is day 20 of my Whole30 challenge, that's 2/3 of the way through!  I can hardly believe I have made it to this point! To be honest- I did not see myself lasting this long with no sugar, wine, cheese, milk, etc. But, I have and I couldn't be more excited to finish out the next 10 days. It is not excitement because I want to have those things again, but more so to see what other changes I will experience in the final days of the Whole30.

Since I have cut out sugar completely I no longer crave that rush. I have found that I am satisfied after I eat a meal, where as I would normally need something sweet to end with or I felt unsatisfied. 
I have another 10 days to go and I feel like I could continue far past 30 days. So may of the things I have done over the last 20 days I will continue to implement from now on.  For instance, I have completely cured my "need" for creamer in my coffee and I'm loving using 100% pure coconut milk as a substitution. I have also discovered so many recipes that will become a part of my family's weekly menu. Here are a few pictures of some of the things that I have made and really loved!! 

Whole30 approved banana nut muffins!! There is absolutely no wheat or dairy in them!! 

Crock pot Salsa Chicken (with Whole30 approved salsa)

Caramelized bananas with almond butter and toasted pecans 

Hamburger with a sweet potato bun 

Homemade chicken soup topped with fresh cilantro and avocado 

I didn't cook this, but has come to be my favorite take out meal. Chipotle salad with chicken. (Most of the items on Chipotle's menu are Whole30 approved.  I can't believe I had only eaten there once before!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whole30 Fruit Dip

I made a recipe the other day that I found on Pinterest and created one of my own in the process. This is a recipe I came up with that is Whole30 approved. It is simple, quick and has very few ingredients. 

What you'll need: 
2 over ripe bananas (the kind you would use for bread) 
1 Tbs. of coconut oil 
1 cup of cashews 

Place the cashews into a blender; blend until they are in powder form

Melt coconut oil and add to the cashews

Add the bananas and blend until you get a smooth creamy consistency 
Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Table for the Entryway

I have been wanting an entryway table since the day we moved into our home. I have searched everywhere for the perfect piece of furniture that would fit in that spot. With no luck, we finally decided to attempt to build something that would fit exactly like I wanted.  I searched Pinterest for ideas and came across these plans HERE. I loved the look of it so we decided to use the plans and adjust accordingly. Here are a few pictures of the process and the final product. 

At Lowe's getting all of the supplies 

Sweetest husband hard at work

Making Progress 

Almost there!! 

All we need is to stain the wood and add a coat of paint!! 

The finished product!! I still need to find one more basket for the bottom shelf. 

I am so happy with the way it turned out! We have gotten so many compliments from friends and family, when they have come to visit. My husband is super handy and can seriously build or fix anything! Now on to our next project....A farm table for out dining room!! : )

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Journey with Whole30 (so far)

I have decided to try and complete the Whole30 challenge! If you are unsure of what the challenge is take a look here Whole30 and it will give you all the information you need. The main part of the challenge is to stick to whole foods for 30 days! Essentially this means no bread, dairy, alcohol,  legumes or sugar (only naturally occurring sugars in fruit and vegetables), and absolutely no processed foods at all.

My decision to try the Whole30 came from a mix of different places. I have competed in fitness events, enjoyed working out, challenging myself to eat clean and try new recipes for as long as I can remember. However, I recently had a fitness photo shoot and limited myself from so many of my favorite foods.  After the photo shoot was over,  I went a little crazy with my eating habits and was seriously lacking motivation for going to the gym.  My body changed very quickly and I begin to hate the way I looked (this could have a lot to do with turning 30...I can see that metabolism isn't what it used to be). I couldn't find the motivation to step back in the gym and I kept eating donuts (literally) for breakfast. In my head I would say "This is the last time, tomorrow I will get back on track". Well, those tomorrows quickly turned into weeks and before I knew it- I had been eating terrible, I had not been in the gym in 2 and half months and had only taken a hand full of Pure Barre classes (and when I say a hand full- I mean 6).

I don't know what finally caused me to commit, but I believe it was just feeling unhealthy and knowing that I have so many things coming up in the next few months and I want to feel my best.
And, so 10 days ago I just said "Let's do this today." And here we are 10 days later.

What has been the hardest part? 

For me not eating wheat products and dairy has been the toughest thing.  You just don't realize how many things have wheat and dairy in them. I constantly check labels and have spent many hours in the kitchen preparing food and reading the back of boxes (and washing dishes).

You're supposed to eat 3 balanced meals a day, following the Whole30 meal plan, and avoid snacking. This is so different than what I am used to and what I usually preach to people. I am used to eating 6 small meals a day so this has been quite a challenge. I still sometimes snack, but the things I am snacking on now or so much more healthy than I was ever snacking on before.

What I Miss the most: And ALL of these I had at lest once a week (if not every day)
Coffee Creamer
Chocolate Chip Cookies and Donuts
Gummy candy (gummy bears, worms)

I haven't experienced any weird headaches or side effects from any of the new foods I've tried. This has been surprisingly easier than I had thought it would be. I've read so many online post about how people felt awful the first few days/weeks and I was scared to experience those things, but thankfully I have yet to have any negative side effects. I think so much of this process has to do with your attitude. : ) It's 30 DAYS-NOT FOREVER!! You can do anything for 30 days!

10 Things I've Learned In 10 Days On Whole30
  1. Everyday gets a little easier! I find that I have more energy each new day! 
  2. I have become more organized! The first week I went to the grocery store 3 times! I was able to write out a grocery list this week and meal plan with everything I'll need for the entire week. 
  3. Whole foods are much more expensive! However, we (my family) go out to eat a lot. So I am thinking that our grocery bill will still be less than the amount of money we were spending going out to dinner. 
  4. I have already added so many new things to my pantry/refrigerator that I have never used before and discovered I really like them!! (chia seeds, coconut milk, dried cranberries, and many spices) 
  5. I have cooked more and washed more dishes in the last 10 days than I probably have in the last month! 
  6. Telling people that you are doing the challenge will help with encouragement and support!! I have many friends that not only want to try it, but have already started!
  7. Black Coffee is really gross!! I miss creamer and sweetener like crazy-but have found that a little almond milk makes coffee much more enjoyable than just plain black coffee. 
  8. I am sleeping so much better! I read this would happen, but was a little skeptical- I'm the person that has to take some type of medicine to help me sleep! No More!! : ) 
  9. 30 days seems like a really long time in the beginning, but taking it one day at a time is a better perspective! I am now 1/3 of the way on my plan and have no doubts that I will finish strong. 
  10. There is a plethora of information on the internet about Whole30!! You do not have to pay any money for any books for the Whole30 challenge. I have found myself reading something new about Whole30 several times a day! 
So here is to the next 3 weeks (well 20 days to be exact)!