Whole 30 Summer Edition

Whole 30 Summer Edition

After a super-successful Whole 30 in January of this year, we’ve decided to bite the bullet and do it again during the month of August. Take a look at my 2015 health timeline and you’ll see why:

January– Felt great, lost 17 pounds. Not only that, but James and I began the practice of making Sunday our family day where we do fun things out of the house together. Whole 9 life style in full swing!

February, March and April– kept up the good work while allowing a few indulgences, and still lost another 10 pounds. Skipped a few of our Sunday outings, but on the whole these were good, healthy months.

May– took our mega trip to England and Wales. We had a blast! And we ignored all healthy eating habits and tried all the food. Because Europe.

tea
Afternoon Tea in Bath. OMG those scones.

June and July– Despite my best efforts, the sugar dragon is back! Lots of parties and a few long weekend vacations did not help (even though they were super fun!). Sunday family day outings have all but disappeared. Gained 10 pounds. Decide it’s time to take action.

What’s different this time:

It’s summer! That means we have way more access to in-season fruits and veggies than we did on our January Whole 30. We’re grilling almost every night, and we’re enjoying more sunshine and Vitamin D. We’ve resumed our Sunday family day outings, and we’ve gone ahead and scheduled them a month in advance. Being summer, this means we’ll be doing things like fossil-hunting at Calvert Cliffs, visiting the zoo, and watching our beloved O’s at Camden Yards. And we’re eating crabs. Because Maryland. (Honestly, if crabs weren’t Whole 30, I don’t think I could do this during the summer). In fact, we celebrated the start of our adoption process and the start of our Whole 30 with crabs.

crabs

Based on my 3 months of good eating after the January Whole 30, I’m expecting August to carry me into the holidays, and I’ll probably need another Whole 30 in January 2016. I don’t have any idea if I’ll lose any weight this time, but I’m really hoping to at least make a dent in those 10 pounds I gained this summer. And I’m hoping the energy I get from this food will help me to get the house in order for our home study. Maybe the positive attitude this lifestyle brings will give me the boost I need to get my career in order too. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Here’s to Round 2!

We Did It!

We Did It!

We’ve just completed our first Whole 30! If you’re not sure what that is, it’s basically giving up grains, dairy and legumes for 30 days straight, no excuses. You can read more about our experience here.

Results:

We feel great! Much more energy. Happily off sugar. CA’s caffeine addiction is no more. Vegetable and fruit consumption is way up. Chemical consumption is way down. CA has a new addiction to Brussels Spouts. James has a new found love of cashews. Fried plantains are the new donuts. We’re spending more time together. We’re eating great food. We’re doing great!

Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for.

Did I lose weight?

17 pounds!!!!

In addition to weight lost, I lost about 17 combined inches from around my body. Plus I have tons of energy, no cravings, and I haven’t counted a single calorie!

Outlook:

We love the way we feel, so we’re continuing on the path of deliciously good food. We may attempt to allow occasional dark chocolate and gasp dairy. But we’re going to pay close attention to what these things do to our stomach, and if they cause us gut pain, we’re taking note. Dairy, grains, legumes and added sugars do NOT sit well with my body, and I feel much much MUCH better without them.

Besides, I want to be my best self. I’m worth it.

“Our Hearts Are Restless”

“Our Hearts Are Restless”

Now that January is almost over, it’s time to assess how I’m doing with my resolutions. I’m happy to report that 2 out of 3 are going remarkably well. I’ve stuck to my Jorge Cruise diet, and I feel great. I’ve even lost about 5 pounds so far. SNAPS!
My second resolution was to enjoy my house more. This one is definitely working out for me. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing differently. Maybe it was an attitude adjustment. Either way, I’m really enjoying it. Also, my job is becoming more bearable when I think about the reason I have to go to work.

My third resolution was to grow deeper in my Catholic faith. This one has been a little tricky. My participation in the Sacraments is about where it has always been. James and I always go to Sunday Mass together, and that will never change. I’ve been to Confession once this year, and will go again soon.

It’s not this outward participation that is my problem, though. My prayer life is minimal compared to what it used to be in the past. I seem to be experiencing some sort of aversion to long prayers. I think that what I need to do is just force myself into a habit of prayer. Love is an action, not a feeling. Loving God requires commitment, like marriage. You know that you love him, but sometimes you have to remind yourself, and act lovingly even when you don’t feel like it. You have to “put in the time” whether you want to or not. Eventually, it will pay off.

Perhaps this is a little bit like St. John of the Cross and his “Dark Night of the Soul”. I don’t seem to be interested in praying, yet I have a desire to be more interested in praying. I’ll just pray anyway. As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord.”

Dealing with Life’s Cravings

Dealing with Life’s Cravings

I remember my mother telling me when I was little that you had to love yourself first before you could love anyone else. After reading some beautiful posts by writer Sage Cohen, I started thinking about this again. Loving yourself. It goes hand in hand with knowing yourself, doesn’t it?

Sometimes I forget who I am. I forget that I learn quickly and hate it when people talk loudly in the morning. I forget that I forget to go to bed. I forget that I love reading about history and looking at art. Sometimes, when I’ve been insanely stressed for weeks at a time, it’s because I have forgotten to remember what I like.

In yesterday’s meeting with my health coach, we were talking about cravings. Sometimes, when you’re craving food, it’s a manifestation of craving for one of life’s primary foods: a stimulating job, a fulfilling relationship, a balanced spiritual and physical exercise habit. I know that for me, as I sit here dreaming of carbs at my office in the auto body shop, there are several things lacking. For one, like many under-30’s today, I have yet to find a satisfying job. More importantly, I am still in a transition period where I’m waiting to create a new home.

I’m so excited to be getting married and starting a home with James. I want a place that’s safe, a place I can fill with my books and my singing, a place where I can write. I know myself enough to know I need a home. Maybe once I finally have a sweet, loving place to live, I’ll be able to grow in other ways, too.

How I’m Getting My Life on Track

I am a list-writing fanatic. A compulsive lister. Whenever I feel stressed out, I find myself frantically making lists. To-do lists, goal lists, lists of things that make me happy, lists of things not to eat, lists of future lists to make… it goes on. Last night, I finally figured out why.

Last night, my mom and I dinner with our cousin, who happens to be a health coach. We’re going to start a 6-month program to get ourselves healthy. The great thing about this program is that it’s not just about dieting. It’s about taking your whole life into perspective and realizing what you need to do to be healthy mentally and physically.

During this meeting, I figured out why I gained 15 pounds in the last year. Prior to Nov 2010, I was a freelance SEO writer, I worked out daily (often at the local park) and I cooked a LOT (usually healthy food) to relieve stress. Now, I have a sedentary job that I don’t love, I don’t have a home to go back to, and if I want privacy with James or with my mother I have to go out to dinner. I no longer have a private kitchen to cook in so now when I get stressed, I give into cravings. WOW. What a life style change! With all the stress making me feel hopeless, making lists is my frantic grasp at taking control. I try to organize my life on paper since it’s so disorganized in reality.

So what now?

I’m really excited to have a health coach for 6 months. I’m looking at this as having someone to help me stay on track with exercising, choosing healthy stress-relief outlets, and learn some new, better ways of eating.

The minute I got home, I made a list (no surprise) of healthy stress-relievers: exercise, prayer, writing, blogging, organizing my room, and making lists. I’m so excited to start this new program. 6 months from now, I’ll be interested to see the final results!