Eating Healthy

Whole 30: My Journey [Week 2]

You can’t ever really anticipate how difficult a change in eating habits is going to be. I mean, you think you know, but once you’re in it, it’s so much harder. Especially when, even though you live with someone, you’re ultimately on your own [my fiancé, who I love dearly, barely made it three days before deciding he could not go without grains or dairy].

The first week of Whole 30, I was strong. I was excited about the challenge of cooking meals without grains, beans, dairy, sugar and processed food. I started off with a major bang, and was on such a high from immediately feeling the positive effects on my body from cutting out all of these food groups.

The second week, though.. I felt like I’d hit my max on creativity. Even though I’d purchased the Whole 30 cookbook, I felt like everything was the same. The truth is, none of the recipes are even remotely similar, but because I was already getting burned out, I was getting lazy. It wasn’t too hard to avoid dairy or gluten, since I don’t eat much of either of those on a daily basis anyway, but avoiding all grains and even corn on top of that? That was difficult for me. In situations where I’d normally substitute quinoa or add a corn product for flavor, I couldn’t! Also, most of the recipes I found were calling for a slow cooker, which I don’t have [yet.. there’s one on my registry! – *hint hint* to those of you invited to my wedding :)].

Luckily, I know something about myself that will hopefully keep me going with this diet – I have a tendency to cop out when things get “difficult.” I give up, I throw in the towel. I fall off the wagon, if you will. But having a track record of this and having a resolution to have more willpower this year is what’s helping me to maintain my motivation to climb this 30 day mountain [of which I have 23 days left.. but who’s counting?].

In short – week two of Whole 30 has been hard. But I have to remember that it’s mind over matter. I have survived much more difficult obstacles in my life than temporarily cutting out certain types of food.

Any of you guys have recommendations on how to keep my momentum going with this diet [and continuing to eat healthy moving forward]? Would love to hear thoughts and recommendations!

Also, a little sidenote, if you’re considering doing W30, I highly suggest doing it in the winter! Almost all of the recipes are heavy and winter-y and, in my opinion, seem like they’d be way too filling and uncomfortably warm for the summer months.

Diet + Exercise. They’re Just Four [And Eight] Letter Words.

You know those people who just absolutely love working out? Like, they freak out if they don’t get a workout in every single day? They hit several group workout classes a week, they do cardio every day, plus they go to the gym and do strength training.

Yeah, I’m definitely NOT one of those people.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love to run. It’s very therapeutic in the sense that it burns extra energy and allows me to get my head on straight [writer’s mind makes you a little extra loco at times]. The actual physical act of running, though? So not my fav.

I truly envy those of you out there who have such a passion for working out. I have honestly made a solid effort to become one. I commit to these workout challenges [Tone It Up, for those females out there that are interested – actually love their programs, the timing of them just never works well with my life], I set my alarm to run before work. I’ve even been seeing a personal trainer since February [MAPT Fitness, for those fit folk out there who want an awesome trainer who acts like your brother and best friend and doesn’t treat sessions like freakin’ bootcamp – if I wanted to join the military I would have] to try and make a habit out of working out. And literally NONE of it works for me. I get so burnt out, and life gets in the way.

I’m also not somebody who can commit to eating healthy for every meal, every single day. To be completely honest, trying to work out and worry about what I’m putting into my body is freakin’ EXHAUSTING. It’s a full-time job [maybe this is why people hire other people to do it for them – personal trainers, dietitians..]. I, for one, do not have the time or energy to put into meal prepping and planning workouts every day.

Let’s be real for a sec. Does anybody actually believe that your body will be absolutely RUINED if you have “cheat” meals, cocktails, miss a workout, etc? You guys, you will be FINE. And look, I get it – I know exercise and nutrition are super important. Especially in this day and age with all the genetically modified food that’s sold at our grocery stores, and how polluted our earth has become. I totally get it. But we only get one life! We can’t be so obsessed with these two things that we forget to just enjoy living.

Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a meal, overeat, eat poorly. Don’t feel guilty for needing more sleep one morning instead of going for a run. In this day and age, it’s all about enjoying the little things in life. Indulge yourself. We get so caught up in keeping up with the Jones’, pushing ourselves to be the best that we can, spreading ourselves too thin because we have mortgages, utility bills, car payments, children, pets.. Give yourself the okay to let your guard down every once in a while. A weekend [or even a week!] off from your obsessions won’t kill you.

For some people, I think there’s a fear that if they step off track for even one second they will fall off whatever wagon they’re on. And THAT is unhealthy. Using exercise and nutrition as a crutch for other things in your life is not good, and if you are one of these people then you desperately need a vacation far away from your daily life. Like, STAT!

You guys, I am obviously by absolutely no means a professional at anything I talk about on my blog, especially diet and nutrition [seeing as I literally just stated that I cannot stick to either one for very long]. But, that said, I do wholeheartedly believe in doing things that are good for you. I believe it’s healthy to unwind, put your walls down, indulge, relax – I’m sure you work hard, so spend some of that well earned cash on a weekend away. YOU DESERVE IT!

As Donna and Tom would say, “Treat yo’ self!” [Parks and Rec – if you haven’t watched it, it’s on Netflix, and it’s hilarious].

Diary of a Healthy Summer

What is it about summertime? Something about it screams day drinking, boating, junk food and irresponsibility.

This is the general pattern that myself and others tend to follow once that glorious warm weather hits. This summer, however I have taken a personal vow to be healthier. Why this sudden change in attitude in the 27th year of my life, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Last summer, my boyfriend had a boat. It was the first one he’d ever bought for himself (as opposed to hopping on a friend’s, or his parent’s), and out of pure excitement he vowed to spend every single day on that boat. And he did. He practically spent the night on the damn thing. And while it was definitely fun to be with someone who owned a boat, it did not hold the same appeal to me as it did him. He would force me to take a sunset cruise with him every weekday after I got off work. Yes, force. Don’t get me wrong, boating is fun, but when you have to drop it in and drag it out and make sure you don’t crash into anyone or anything, it gets to be more exhausting and stressful than enjoyable.

And then, of course, every single weekend is completely consumed from morning until night with boating excursions and generally getting as drunk and sunburned as possible before the end of the weekend.

Basically, my entire last summer was spent in a drunken, sunlit haze in which I probably made a complete fool of myself, not to mention gained a few lbs from all the boozing (which almost always leads to drunk munchies). I did not like who I was or where I was when summer came to a close, and so I told myself that next summer would be different. Hence my motivation to make some significant changes in summer 2014.

First and foremost: I am going to spend the next few months documenting everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, that I’m doing for exercise as well as my diet and just basic daily activities that don’t involve irresponsibility. I mean, I’m almost 30-years-old, for crying out loud! I’m almost too old to be dabbling in things that I was doing when I was in high school.

Another reason I am doing this is for my dogs. Last summer they were severely desperate for attention because so much of my boyfriend’s and my time was spent on the boat or going out to bars. I ended up having to pay a HUGE fine after my lease was up because they destroyed the carpet from ripping and scratching at it out of boredom, not to mention going to the bathroom in the house because they were cooped up inside all day long. After seeing how unhappy they were, I swore I would never put my unnecessary needs before them.

So, this summer is devoted to them and me – our happiness together, as a family. Stay tuned for updates with our progress and full enjoyment of summer 2014.