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thoughts on whole 30


Whole 30 is best described as an elimination and detox diet based on the Paleo program. You don’t consume the following for 30 days: alcohol, sugar (except from fruit), grains, dairy, beans, or any processed foods. It’s supposed to reset your body and help reduce inflammation and digestive upset. After the 30 days, you reintroduce these food groups back into your diet one by one to see your body’s reaction to them. You will lose weight, but the goal here is to become more mindful of what you eat and to embrace clean eating. It’s hard. They say it isn’t hard, but it’s tough.
You can read more about it here.

This is a recap of my first week. Please note that I adore cheese and have a major league sweet tooth.

Day 1

Feeling upbeat and almost cheerful (there’s a fine line between optimism and delusion), I’m up for the Whole 30 challenge. To succeed, you’ve got to be prepared. I’m fortified with a small grocery haul from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and my local produce stand. I’m officially a Whole 30ette because I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to it.

Day 2

Making delicious recipes, keeps my resolve going. The homemade chicken soup is both comforting and tasty. Reality sinks in though when I want my evening hot tea while watching Fixer Upper. No sugar and milk in my tea equals no bueno.

Day 3

Eating out is challenging. Everything is a no no! I order the market salad with grilled chicken at Bodega. The girl behind the counter gives me a sad look as she hands me oil & vinegar so I can dress my salad, theirs has honey in it. All is good until I spot a hipster downing an ice cold bottle of Coke. I suppress the urge to tackle him for it. Sugar withdrawal is real.

Day 4

My love for Lara bars is born. They’re dairy and gluten free with no added sugar. I reread the Whole 30 program rules. It turns out Lara bars are only for emergencies. I spy two elementary school girls walking with their mom holding a box of doughnuts from the Mini Doughnut Company. The little blonde one has chocolate icing on her face. For a split second, I envision myself snatching the box from them and sprinting off. This is an emergency. I eat the Lara bar and feel better.

Day 5 – 7

Preparation is everything. My well-stocked pantry and refrigerator help me make: chicken salad, paleo taco salad, fajitas, fruit salad, etc. I survive the week without a Buddy Brew latte or anything sweet. I do not cheat because you can’t. And I try really hard not to think about cheese.

Profound realizations:

• Sugar is in everything: salad dressing, mayonnaise, bacon, etc.!
• I realized how much sugar I was consuming before Whole 30. The daily recommended amount of added sugar (not from fruit) is 25 grams or six teaspoons. FYI – there are 230 calories and 58 grams of sugar in a medium Chick Fil A lemonade! Cue the tears. To put that in perspective, a Snickers bar has 27 grams of sugar.
• Making most of your own meals is the foundation for clean eating. That said, thank goodness for Fresh Kitchen!

Other thoughts:

• Cuban food is not as good without black beans and rice.
• Unsweetened almond milk in coffee is just wrong.
• I bet that crème brulee French toast I saw on Pinterest tastes amazing.

a fresh start


Hello January, thanks for giving us all a fresh start. A new year graciously offers us the chance to push the reset button on our lives. For a lot of people, this takes the form of resolutions. Unfortunately, the gung-ho enthusiasm of January 1st (you’re at every spin or Zumba class you can go to) quickly becomes an awkward burnout (you’re dodging calls from your workout buddies while binge watching Netflix on your couch).

Why not ease into the new year? I did. Don’t judge, but I kept my Christmas tree up way past New Year’s Day. While others may love wiping the slate clean, I felt a bit bummed by the sudden lack of holiday sparkle. Thankfully, sprucing up your home with fresh flowers can really combat the January blahs.

Back to resolutions and diving into new promises to yourself, how about choosing an intention vs. a resolution for the new year? My intentional word for 2016 is “believe.” Think of a word, mantra, Bible verse, or quote that will resonate with you throughout the year and make it your own!

Let yourself off the hook if you haven’t cut back on carbs or begun learning French yet. Remember every day is a new opportunity to create meaningful change. Enjoy the direction you’re moving in without going overboard with drastic changes that may not stick. Take steps toward your goals or dreams, but give yourself permission to make them baby steps if that’s what works best for you.

Happy New Year, may this year be all that you dream it will be!

merry christmas


Merry Christmas, and here’s a simple way to dress up your chandeliers for the holiday season. It’s never too early to start pinning your favorite ideas for next year’s celebration. You can keep it simple with a few tree branches and your favorite ornament or go crafty with spray paint, pine cones, ribbon, and a handy hot glue gun!

Happy New Year!

last day of summer…


Labor Day may signal the end of summer for many of us, but today is technically the last day of summer. Wow, I find it a little tricky to be gung-ho about fall when the temperature still hits the 94-degree mark.

Sure the days are getting shorter, and the mornings aren’t as unbearably muggy. Football season is well underway. And everyone is giddy to embrace the prospect of fall pleasures: boot wearing weather, pumpkin spice lattes, football, and better hair days. It all sounds great in theory, but I’m still wearing my hair in a top-knot and gulping down iced coffee. Plus, I don’t even know where I hid my boots–hopefully, somewhere golden retriever proof.

As a farewell to summer, I’m sharing a lighter version than the typical key lime pie. Icebox pies were invented for those trying to beat the summer heat. So if you want to cling on to summer a bit longer and aren’t obsessed with everything that’s pumpkin spice, this key lime icebox pie is for you. Did you know there’s actually a brand of pumpkin spice flavored peanut butter? Blech!

Bye-bye summer, you will be missed. Fall, please show us what you’re made of by October. Call me crazy, but carving pumpkins while sweating bullets isn’t exactly at the top of my fall favorites list.

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