Sunday, 26 August 2012

Final days of Whole30 #2

Four more days until this Whole30 is a wrap. It's been a good one, I have to say doing a challenge like this during a bountiful harvest time makes it pretty pleasant. Plates have been colorful and flavorful the last 26 days and I haven't experienced boredom with my meals yet. It will be interesting to see how my next Whole30 will differ - that's planned for January. My intention is to complete a Whole30 twice a year, just to give my system and myself a reset and reminder of how good it feels to eat so cleanly consistently. The effort it takes to complete a Whole30 is a way of consciously investing in my health.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Day 24: A Mini Vacation and a Wedding!

I'm going on a trip! Tomorrow I will be travelling to Halifax for a friend's wedding. I can't wait to see her walking down the aisle. And the party afterwards is going to be like a university reunion! We are then staying in Halifax until Tuesday. We plan on visiting the Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada (GPAC) kennel too. This is where Fury made a short layover on his way to our home and hearts. But GPAC is the organization that arranges to get the dogs from racetracks in the states and who is responsible for making sure they are in good health and then getting them adopted. Fury stayed there for about a week before he came to our home, but many other Greys have spent time there too. Right now they probably have a dozen or so dogs (I'm guessing) who are living at the kennel. Our plan is not to bring one home but just to travel out, see the kennel, meet some of the volunteers, maybe spend some money at the store and play with the greys that are currently living there. The whole 4 days are going to be exciting! But a little scary in trying to stay Whole30 compliant. Although I've got a few strategies...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Day 22: Cookie? Maybe?

What a day. It's been a long one and I don't have enough energy to write much of a post. Overall it was a good day, no a great day! We celebrated the 2nd anniversary of the arrival of our pup, Fury, with a romp in the backyard. We finally have most of the fence built and we were able to take him out without his leash for the first time. He raced around, jumped all over us, and we got the chance to play too. He ran so hard around the yard that he tore up his front paws. Nothing serious just a surface wound. But he loved it, and now he is totally passed out. He'll probably sleep for the next three days straight.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Days 18, 19, 20 and 21: Try new things

Sorry for being out of touch the past few days. I did not slip-up, cheat, or go rogue, I just truly enjoyed my weekend at home, to the point that I didn't even think of writing anything. I also spent a fair bit of time working for some of the volunteer work that I do, and attending some meetings. The weekend just kind of got away from me, and yesterday too. Not to mention that this computer is crappy and old and irritating. I've been eating very well the past few days and have even tried a few new things. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Vacationing, part 2

Fox Cove, Newfoundland

Day 20 is coming to a close and I'd be lying if I said this has been a walk in the park this time around. It is easier - I attribute that to the abundance of fresh, local vegetables available now that makes it easy to have colourful, tasty plates at every meal. However, Whole30ing while vacationing is a challenge: not for me are the "salty snacks" my family shares while watching the nightly movie; no thank you to refreshing ice cream after dinner; not indulging in a drizzle of honey or maple syrup over a pumpkin spice waffle at breakfast; no wine or beer to unwind after the kids finally pass out from their full days.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Vacation - the Whole30 my way

Twilight RetreatI have been conspicuously absent these last couple of days. Today we left for a five night vacation - we have rented a little heritage home in an outport village four and a half hours from a major city. I knew grocery options would be limited out here, so the last two days I have been frantically meal planning, grocery shopping and preparing. As Dallas and Melissa say, failing to prepare for your Whole30 is preparing to fail - and that would really be the case if I came out here without a game plan.

Day 17: An Early Veggie Harvest

My garden on the back patio
You may have picked up somewhere along the way on the fact that I'm a bit of a hobby gardener. It all started when I was a child. I grew up in a household that included both my parents, three siblings, and my grandparents. My grandmother is an avid gardener. She can plant anything and get it to grow: mail order seeds; shoots and clippings from a friend's garden; cuttings from the side of the road; plants that others were getting rid of; even a handful of grape seeds that were left in an ashtray for weeks. Believe it of not she has a greenhouse with gorgeous grape vines that produce perfect green and purple grapes from those ashtray seeds! Her talent is unbelievable! From the time I was little, she has spent her spring and summer days out in the garden, weeding tending to her plants. Her focus is mostly on flowers and shrubs these days with a little veggie garden, but I remember a time when half our backyard was a veggie garden. We had a non-stop supply of tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, currents, gooseberries, potatoes, carrots, turnips, raspberries, and onions. Every since I moved out on my own, I longed for a property where I could have a similar space; however, we lived in a number of apartments without access to land. So when we finally bought our first house, I was super excited about getting a garden going! But how to do that effectively in a subdivision, on a building lot the size of a good postage stamp, in a neighborhood that was built on the side of a hill composed completely of rock?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Day 16: A Visit From the Sugar Monster and Why I Fought Back

Day 16 has been pretty good. Day 15 (yesterday) was not so good, although I didn't tell you about it last night because I wanted to focus on the good things, like celebrating my 15 days and looking at myself and all the changes that had occurred. I didn't want to talk about the bad things, I was cranky enough. But today, now that I'm back to normal, I can tell you about it and not dwell on it. So my day started out good, had a healthy breakfast, a yummy, lunch that I couldn't even completely finish, and then... around 3pm... it happened! Ever feel like you are being chased by a huge slice of cheesecake that you know you can't eat? That's what happened. The Sugar Monster paid me a visit! I felt horrible! I was cranky, I wanted something to eat but couldn't figure out what - other than something full of sugar. I wanted a muffin... or a piece of banana bread with chocolate chips... or anything! Just make this feeling go away!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Day 15: The Halfway Mark

In celebration of the halfway point I've decided to re-visit the me from Whole30 Eve to see if there have been any changes.

Day 14: Two Whole Weeks!

Hey everyone! We've made it two whole weeks into the Whole30. We are almost half way there. I hope everyone is enjoying themselves, feeling better, sleeping better, losing weight, getting healthy. I know I am. Although it's time to celebrate, it looks like my hardrive is fried on my laptop, so I'm typing this on an antiquated computer. I did celebrate my 14 day success with a nice peppermint tea at Chapters (my favorite place in the world) with my book club girls. We actually met to choose a book this time! It's been a long day and it's late so here's a quick rundown of today's food and an interesting photo I found called "Food Marketing Translations" or "What That Really Means". Enjoy! Keep up the good work and thanks for all the support!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Happy half-way eve

Tomorrow will be day 15 of this Whole30, how awesome is that? To celebrate, I am hoping for good weather so I can bring the monkeys blueberry picking. I understand the barrens are positively bursting this year and although I am not a lover of picking them, there is nothing like the taste of a wild Newfoundland blueberry...nothing! In fact, the grandparents brought some freshly picked berries down a couple of nights ago and the the boys dove into them, cramming fistfuls into their mouths.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Goodnight Day 13

Well, we are closing in on two weeks of our Whole30 and I've got sleep on the brain again.

One of the nine factors referred to in the Whole9 is sleep. Getting the right amounts in the right fashion is integral to health and well-being. The right amounts are between 7 and 9 hours, apparently. I fall short of this most nights, but feel markedly better when I do punch seven good hours. One of my definite time wasters is my beloved iPad and iPhone. It never fails that I want to check "one more thing" before lights out, and before you know it I am on the fourth food blog and up well past my desired sleep time.

Day... er, what day is it?

See? The Whole30 is so awesome, that I totally forgot what day it is! I'm not on a countdown; not wishing that the 30 days were over so that I can go back to eating junk food. Wow, that's a pretty special feeling! There are temptations but overall I feel pretty comfortable in this new way of eating. Even drinking my coffee with coconut milk is getting easier.

I wasn't able to post all weekend due to technical difficulties, see realistic depiction to the left, so I'm going to try to give you a quick run down of what my weekend looked like...

Disclaimer: we are not nutritionists

Yesterday we received this comment on one of our earlier posts from Anonymous: "Shouldn't you be designated nutritionists if you are giving health/nutrition advice??? Just a thought and a concern for balanced, well educated, informed and research based information ...anybody it seems can create a blog but is it legit? Very concerned that you are giving advice based on pop culture reading rather than intensive study in the area of sound nutrition." 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Day 10: Finally Friday and a Question About Gum

Well, we've made it finally to the end of the week! Yay, to Nicole, Eileen, Ashley, myself and all those others out there who are now 1/3 of the way through the 30 days. And a big hurrah to Jaclyn who is actually on day 16 of 40! I'm actually really looking forward to the weekend to relax, run, and spend some time with friends! It's the first time I will see some of them since I started the Whole30. I'm feeling results: I feel more energetic; I'm sleeping better; my face seems a little clearer; my clothes fit better already; I'm proud of myself; and, I really believe in the Whole30 framework. I've bought in completely! It's exciting! I've tried so many new foods in the past 10 days, prepared the same foods in different ways, and found some really good foods that I may not have tried otherwise. But how do I share my new knowledge with my friends this weekend without causing a ruckus? I mean, not everyone wants to hear or is ready to hear that grains are forcing our bodies outside of their healthy functioning processes, sugars are killing us, and that dairy can cause an immune response. Not really party conversation...

Ode to zucchini

Where my spaghetti comes from...
For many years I was a pasta lover. Living in Toronto's Little Italy during graduate school eons ago, I became accustomed to first rate, handmade, rustic edged, silky pasta with bite. Fresh pesto made it sing, a good ragu made me swoon. Thus it was with a heavy heart I said goodbye to pasta when I left wheat behind last September. Honestly, since having kids we had reserved pasta meals for dinners after the kids had gone to bed, as neither of my boys liked it at all (apparently this is very rare, but I am not kidding when I say pasta was downright rejected by them each and every time we tried. It's a texture thing.)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Day 9: Shush... I'm trying to listen

One of my main goals for this Whole30 is to finally be able to trust my body and the signals it is sending me. Given my eating habits and lifestyle, I was a sugar-burner (probably still am, but I'm transitioning). My body only knew how to burn sugar for energy. It had no idea that I had this vast resource of energy in the form of fat because it couldn't access the fat since it was so focused on the sugar. You may or may not know, that your body can only store a limited amount of sugar - enough for about 90 minutes of high intensity energy. Hence the reason that long distance runners eat those glucose packs after about 90 minutes. Not only are their own glucose stores empty by that time but they need an easily accessible source of energy to keep them going. Fat is harder to get to. If you keep pumping your body full of sugar, it will use sugar, because it's easier. Sugar is like the eager and willing first date, and fat is like the coy date who plays hard to get.

Day 8: What do you mean it's 11pm?

So, this is just a quick post for yesterday, Day 8. I will be writing another for today, Day 9 later this evening. I just didn't want to skip over Day 8 like it didn't exist, but it almost didn't the way the day just zoomed right by. I found myself thinking that I needed to write my post but when I looked at my clock it was 11pm!! Yikes! I needed to get to bed, I had fallen asleep on the couch watching tv with Barry. But here's just a quick recap of my food for the day. Stay tuned for Day 9 later.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Why I love fat

One of the hallmarks of any good Paleo or Primal meal is making sure a good dose of healthy fat forms part of what is on your plate. I know....whoa! Fat? Really? Yup, for real, people. A bit of a leap from cut all the fat as much as possible!! that has been screamed at us for the last twenty years. As I started exploring the Paleo and Primal frameworks, this actually appealed to me, because it is reflective of their mantra to eat real food. I have resisted the low-fat movement for years as a result of my belief that if you can't enjoy the real thing (butter, yogurt) then why bother?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Finding Balance

Today my husband gave me the gift of a day off with the family. We went to a wonderful sandy beach an hour away - the kids had a blast and we did too. Food was simple, I didn't take pictures. I was Whole30 compliant and it wasn't an effort - as I mentioned before, there is no counting, weighing, logging, measuring involved.

Day 7: We CAN do it!

Well, here we are at the end of Day 7, what a good feeling! We are a full week into the Whole30! I can already say that some things have changed for me. First, I don't mind coconut milk in my coffee as long as I use big cans that mix up well. For a while I was using little cans and they didn't work. The milk was really runny and it had lumps; no wonder I didn't like it in my coffee. Now I'm back to using big cans and Barry whipped up a batch for me last night. It's going down OK. I can do this! Drinking my coffee without milk and sweetener, is. Not. Hard. Second, my relationship with food is already changing!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Sleep - or why I missed yesterday's post

A couple of weeks back, the Whole9 had a really simple equation on either their Facebook page or their website. It was, "In terms of priority (for optimal health), nutrition > sleep > exercise." So simple, yet it struck me that I really don't embody this. Too often I find myself trading sleep for "achieving:" getting stuff done the likely could wait until tomorrow or even later. I'm not the greatest relaxer in the world and I'd really like to become better at it. More than that though, in every book I have read on how the body works, it is stressed that adequate sleep is of paramount importance for optimal health. Particularly in books coming from the Paleo community: Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution really drove it home, as does Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple

Day 6: Preparation and an Ouchie...

Tonight's post is going to be a short one. I'm typing with one hand (please excuse any grammatical errors) while the other sits in a bowl of cool water; its the only way I can get relief from the burning caused by cutting jalepenos without gloves. This happens every time! I can't believe that I don't learn. I always end up with my hands searing but I never put on gloves, but now I feel like banging my head off the wall until it gets through my thick skull...

Day 5: Preservatives and Caffeine Withdrawl

This morning was tough... I woke up with a raging headache and felt exactly the same as I would have if I had been stinking drunk last night. Which I wasn't, of course. But I felt sour, like I had been poisoned. I even texted Nicole for support. I feel like shit! Remind me why I'm doing this? I felt kind of bad yesterday, feel really bad today!

Her response?

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Gaining Control

I've always been one to question pretty much everything. It drove every math teacher I ever had mad, and I am sure my parents sometimes wished I had been a more compliant child. I really don't think it comes from a place of trying to be a contrarian, rather I just like to know facts and details prior to making a decision.

Day 4: Hot Heat

Today was a rather relaxing day. I awoke at around 10am, after falling asleep early last night. I took the pups out and gave them breakfast, then set about finding something for myself. I spent most of the day outside on the patio enjoying the heat and reading. I took a nice nap inside around 4:00. I did pretty good for food cravings today, no visits from the sugar monster and I didn't even feel bad when Barry and Peter ordered pizza for supper (although they ate it downstairs so as not to tempt me - thanks guys!). But I did have some issues craving something other than water to drink!

Friday, 3 August 2012

It's not so bad

I don't know if I am hitting my stride or have been lulled into a false sense of serenity, but today didn't seem as bad as yesterday. This despite the fact that I was at no less than two movies today (one in the theatre with big brother bear, one backyard showing for kids on our street) and was surrounded by chocolate and salty popcorn temptations at both.

Day 3: ...zzzz....

Day 3, and I'm still alive, albeit, pretty tired. No, exhausted might be a better word for it. Today presented some new challenges; I was out of the office today to take part in a strategic planning workshop for a not-for-profit group with which I volunteer. The agenda was delivered yesterday and the dreaded words were written right there... "nutrition breaks and lunch will be provided"... Oh crap! That means Tim Horton's coffee and muffins at morning break, soup and sandwiches at lunch, and pastries at afternoon break. Pastries!!! My major achilles heel item. I LOVE pastries! Ack!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Haunted by the sugar demon

This morning began with me chopping dark orange chocolate for scones I was making for my oldest to bring as a hostess gift to a play date he was heading to this afternoon. It made me salivate - I adore chocolate.

Day 2: A Shopping Trip to the Organic Food Section

Day 2... feels like... any other day!

I started the day with a nice 4.4km run with two good friends. Ladies, I know you are reading. We actually made better time today than we ever have, we actually increased our pace today by almost a minute. We covered more distance in less time. So give yourselves a big pat on the back! It was a beautiful morning but it was hot: the sun was out; it was 16 degrees at 6am; and ,there was no wind. But we made it, we even ran up Glebe Street without stopping. Not that Newfoundland is very flat but this is a steep hill. And we all made it to the top, albeit not without a number of curses escaping our lips!

Speaking of cursing,

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Finding my groove

Day 1 started spectacularly by hiking Signal Hill with a friend. The trek isn't long, but it is uphill, with lots and lots of steps. I am coming to love morning exercise which completely shocks me, sleep has always won over voluntarily waking early for this girl. However, we are in the midst of one gorgeous summer and sun definitely makes a happier me. On top of that, I'm lucky to have some pretty spectacular girls in my life who share similar goals and meeting up with them makes early morning rises worth it.

Day 1: Goal Setting

So my first Whole30 has commenced. I have to say, it didn't really start with a bang, unless you count the sore neck and headache I had this morning that was completely unrelated to the Whole30 but that kept me home from work. So the day didn't really start until early afternoon when I finally managed to crawl out of my cave, aka bedroom. But all of that time in bed gave me plenty of time to think. In between cat naps and ice packs, I managed to download the Whole9 Whole30 Daily's self evaluation worksheet and I took the time to list some SMART goals for my Whole30. Wanna hear? Of course you do!

T'was the night before Whole30...

...and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except me* with my can of coconut milk to use in my coffee in the morning...

So, here goes right? It's Whole30 Eve and I'm home sipping my last glass of red wine for 30 whole days, thinking about coffee in the morning. I have a confession... but don't tell anyone... I'm a sweetener addict.*gasp* Sugar Twin being my drug of choice. I know, pure aspartame; but don't even think about giving me anything else.