The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

I Can and I Will

Today is a new day. On the Whole30 Days 6 and 7 are when all you want to do is take a nap. And that’s exactly where I was. It helped to get on Instagram last night and see others going through the exact same things I’m going through. I’ll admit, quitting would be easy and I’m sure everyone would nod their head and think that that was the right thing to do. But, I’m not going to. At least not yet.

I did spend some serious time thinking about what I’m doing and why and if this is crazy pants. The truth is, I love sugar and pancakes and gluten free bread and cereal! But I don’t feel well after I eat those things. I think I need 30 days away from all of that to reprogram my go to foods. I’m also loving all the veggies I’m eating. So for those reasons, I think the Whole30 is where I need to be right now.

And even though my mom says I have crazy willpower I’m not so sure. With some things? Yes. With others, not so much. But, I’m hoping 30 days of building better habits will help with all of that as well.

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Whole30 Round 2

Quite honestly, end of day six is probably not when I should be writing and publishing this post, but oh well! I’m doing another Whole30. I know the last round didn’t end well and after that I told everyone I would never do another one of these ever again, but here I am!

I was telling a coworker I really need to figure out why I’m doing this, because the urge to quit is strong. I started out doing this because I’ve seen other people doing them and it all seemed so low key. Plus if that person could do all 30 days, surely I could too right? I also felt like I needed a reset before summer. Those reasons don’t seem so great tonight. This weekend I was thinking I was doing it to try to find some new recipes and get out of my food rut, but I’m sure I could find a different, easier way to do that. So I don’t know, right now I’m taking it day by day.

A few things are different this time around. I have a solid coffee replacement. I like bulletproof coffee (I use coconut oil) and really like blending coffee with coconut milk and a little cinnamon. That has been huge. I’m also meal planning a lot smarter this time around. I know which dinners will create lunch leftovers, and I’m planning meals that are easy to make. When you’re cooking three meals a day every day, you have to catch breaks where you can.

Last time I made it to Day 18. Can I make it farther this round? I think I’d like to. I can tell my body has been relying on carbs a lot (otherwise I wouldn’t be this exhausted), and it would be good to break that reliance and find that awesome energy others talk about.

If you’re on Instagram that’s where I’m documenting some of my meals and talking about the ups and downs of this.

Day 1 – Feeling good. It was business as usual.
Breakfast – Eggs, spinach, pork sausage. Bulletproof coffee
Lunch – Chipotle salad bowl with carnitas and guac
Dinner – Turkey, bacon, avocado sliders with sweet potato bun and oven roasted asparagus. These were insanely good! They will definitely make an appearance again.

Day 2 – Bit of an urge to snack since I was home all day.
Breakfast – Eggs, spinach, pork sausage. Bulletproof coffee
Lunch – Salad with proscuitto, eggs, carrots, chicken, tomato. Homemade balsamic vinegar dressing
Dinner – Chicken Thighs with broccoli, roasted fingerling potatoes

Day 3 –
Breakfast – Eggs, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, pork sausage. Coffee blended with coconut milk. I’ve tried just stirring the coconut milk in and it doesn’t work, way better if you blend it.
Lunch – Leftover chicken thighs with broccoli
Dinner – Shrimp over zoodles in avocado cream sauce, roast asparagus.

Day 4 –
Breakfast – Eggs, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, pork sausage. Bulletproof coffee. Blueberries.
Lunch – Big salad with Tessamae’s dressing
Dinner – Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, roast carrots
We ate dinner early so I made a chia pudding that night. I wanted something with some fruit in it, chia seeds (because I miss them) and some good fats so I blended a banana, strawberries, 1/4 cup coconut milk and 2 T chia seeds together. It was more porridge than pudding, but was exactly what my body needed.

Day 5 – Super tired today. I also wanted to eat all the things. Cinnamon rolls, chocolate, jelly beans.
Breakfast – Sweet potato egg nests, pork sausage, blueberries/pecans/cashew butter
Lunch – Egg salad over greens, sauteed zucchini. Definitely not enough fat in this meal, but I finally bought some avocado oil and made mayo with it – divine! Can’t wait to use it on everything.
Dinner – Steak, Brussel sprouts with bacon, sweet potato rounds

Day 6 – Tired again.
Breakfast – Noatmeal. I needed a break from eggs, but this can’t be it. It wasn’t enough breakfast for me and I was starving by 10:30am.
Lunch – Spaghetti squash with ground beef and marinara sauce (Kirklands organic, it was delish!)
Dinner – Chicken, zucchini, mushroom stir fry with roasted sweet potatoes

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Let’s just get this over with

I went off the Whole30 last Wednesday and have felt mostly awful on the physical front since. I had a huge reaction to dairy which took me completely by surprise. It’s been worse than I’ve ever felt after gluten. So dairy is out for me, which makes me sad when I think of my beloved cheese. On the flip side, there is almond milk and coconut milk so at least I can figure out my coffee now.

Mentally, I’ve felt better I guess? I’m happier, not so crabby, and food tastes good again. But it really sucks to be super bloated and now I’m constantly wondering if it’s just dairy, or if I need to stay away from grains too. I’m also struggling with eating things that I told myself I wouldn’t eat at this point. I’m trying to eat as Whole30 as possible, but one thing after another has had me reaching for gluten free toast or tortilla chips. I did better with the strict 100% compliance than I do with free will.

I’m ready to just be done with this. To not post about it, to not scour pinterest for recipes, to not think about it constantly anymore. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t feel well eating what I’m eating now. I have to think about my food, I have to prep ahead of time. Ugh. I figured out gluten free living, I’ll figure this out, it’s just going to take time.

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I’m out

Tuesday was clearly a long, frustrating day. Wednesday morning I woke up tired and crabby, again. After dropping the girls off at camp, I realized the Whole30 was doing two things. First, it was making my already complicated life even more complicated. Second, it was making me crabby and I was taking that out on my kids. I didn’t like either. I’m someone who recognizes when they’ve reached their limits and I had reached mine. I was done, I was out. I drove straight to Caribou and got myself a latte.

Oddly enough, after the latte and a piece of gluten free toast, I’ll likely go back to eating paleo for the most part (although with limited grains and dairy). The Whole30 is supposed to be a science experiment of one, and that’s what I loved about it. I lost weight, I wasn’t bloated, both of which were amazing. Clearly eliminating soy/dairy/sugar/grains/alcohol was agreeing with my body, even if my head wasn’t necessarily on board yet. I’m now determined to figure out paleo baking, and to learn to love coconut flour rather than relying on gluten free flour blends. I’ve learned I need variety in my food, but I also eat a lot out of boredom, especially at night. I’ve loved planning our dinners around a main protein and two vegetables. I’ll continue roasting sweet potatoes to have on hand, and toasting a big batch of coconut and cashews every week.

Enough with the food talk! The mouse hasn’t been seen in 24 hours, so I’m back downstairs typing this up with access to my camera cord. Pictures of the girls makeshift water slide. We did hit the pool Wednesday night after dinner, but I think they probably had more fun doing this.

water 1

water 2

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Whole30 – Week 3

I’m at the halfway point and quite honestly, I’m not really thrilled with things. I’ve stayed on plan and yet, I’m still fairly tired and crabby most days. If I was going to cheat, it would without a doubt be with a vanilla latte. I miss my coffee! There’s a part of me that just wants to be done and move on for the rest of the summer with my new way of eating. The (larger) part of me wants to stick with this for the full 30 days to see what kinds of changes it can really bring about in my body. I’m going to tweak when and what I’m eating, and also kick my workouts into high gear this week. Perhaps my body just needs an extra push?

Day 15 – Sunday
Breakfast – 2 eggs over spinach with proscuitto, berries/cashews/coconut/almond butter
Lunch – Salad with carrots, avocado, chicken with Well Fed ranch dressing
Dinner – Ribs, sweet potato, zucchini

Day 16 – Monday
Breakfast – 2 eggs over spinach with steak, HBE after my workout
Lunch – Tuna with mayo, onions, carrots, celery over salad greens
Dinner – Spaghetti squash with marinara and ground beef, sweet potato

Today was a day when I’m surprised I didn’t subconsciously cheat. The urge to eat sugar is strong!

Day 17 – Tuesday
Breakfast – 2 eggs over spinach with steak, head chicken and sweet potato after my workout
Lunch – berries/almond butter/cashews/coconut, HBE, leftover spaghetti squash with marinara and ground beef
Dinner – Hamburger with tomatoes, avocado, sweet potato, side salad with a mix of avocado and mayo for dressing.

I feel like I’m definitely sleeping better. I used to have crazy dreams all night every night that left me feeling exhausted. I couldn’t tell you if I dreamed anything the last few nights which is so nice!

Day 18 – Wednesday
Breakfast – 2 eggs over spinach with chicken/apple sausages

And I’m done. I will go into more detail about why I stopped, but for the most part, I’ve reach my limits with this. I’m crabby all of the time, and my children and family don’t deserve that. I will continue with the meals I have planned out for this week, but I’m modifying some things to make it work with my life.

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Whole30 Week 2

Heading into my second week! The daily emails claim things will get easier now. I’ve had a fairly easy run so far, but am hoping to get some more energy this week. I will say, the weekdays are relatively easy for me. It’s easy to make good choices because I have everything planned out, and I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on anything. Weekends are a little more difficult. I’m tempted often, but I’m used to having to look at a food and think “Can’t eat that” so it’s easy enough to move on in the moment. I’m a bit bummed to miss out on some of the summer traditions though. No ice cream with the kids for me, no frozen yogurt runs, no popsicles on the deck. I have told the girls we will work it all out in July.

I also feel like I’m eating for fuel, rather than to enjoy the food. I feel like it’s the same flavors over and over, I’m really missing the variety that dairy and sweets bring to the table. I’ve heard your taste buds wake up and everything tastes more and better eventually, just not there yet. I’m also rarely hungry, so I’m sure that is contributing. I feel like I lean on my fruit/cashews/coconut/almond butter combo just to get some different flavors more often than I should, but oh well.

My client is in town this week so I will have multiple meals out. I’ve done my research on their menus and am excited to have someone else cook me a meal!

I did about an hour of prep on Sunday to set myself up for the week. I hard boiled 6 eggs, roasted two sweet potatoes, made chicken burgers, cooked asparagus, made Bacon and Kale Breakfast Casserole and put kahlua pig in the slow cooker just before bed. I’m burned out on eggs over spinach right now, so I’m planning two different breakfasts for this week to get some variety.

Day 8 – Sunday
Breakfast – Blueberries/cashews/coconut/cashew butter. Two eggs with breakfast sausage.
Lunch – Salad with roast chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers with avocado basil dressing.
Dinner – Spinach & Artichoke chicken wrapped in proscuitto, asparagus. I printed this recipe out, but need to find it online!

Day 9 – Monday
Breakfast – Blueberries/mango/cashews/coconut/almond butter. Bacon and kale breakfast casserole. This was awful. Reheated eggs never go well with me, but I’ve done okay with frittata like things before. Discussed this with my coworkers this morning and Wednesday I’m going to add a tomato, basil, and avocado to try to dress it up a bit.
Lunch – Chicken Avocado Soup, sweet potatoes with ghee and coconut milk
Dinner – Kahlua pig (afterwards referred to as carnitas) with guac and roasted brussel sprouts. My carnitas are super dry and I’m pissed! The brussel sprouts were fairly tasteless too. Damn. I hate when you make a big batch of something and it sucks.

This has been by far the toughest day yet. My breakfast was not good, the bus came 10 minutes early and we missed it, and I forgot my lunch at home. All I wanted was a latte and all the chocolate in the office this morning! This is going to be a tough week, but I also feel like if I can make it through this week, I can make it through the 30 days. One day at a time is all I can concentrate on right now.

Day 10 – Tuesday
Breakfast – Noatmeal with blueberries. Technically, you’re not supposed to eat something like this (regular food that isn’t allowed, but you make something that looks like it) but I was going to jump off a building if I had to eat eggs again this morning, so I went with this. Sad thing? I didn’t even really enjoy it! Back to eggs tomorrow.
Lunch – Spinach Artichoke chicken in proscuitto with asparagus and sweet potatoes.
Dinner – Sauteed chicken sausage and zucchini, salad on the side with lemon vinaigrette.

I was talking with a coworker that while I love planning out all of my meals for the week, it also means that there is no surprise in my day. There’s no wandering the food trucks to see what looks good (but let’s be honest, I can only eat from a few even when I’m just eating gf, so it’s not like there’s much surprise there either). But, there’s a part of me that thinks switching to thinking of food as fuel, rather than food as excitement or something to look forward to is one of the issues I need to work through. Days 10 and 11 are when most people quit and I can see why. I’m focusing on one meal at a time. There’s no real craving to cheat, it’s more of a “Why am I doing this again?” feeling. But, I feel better, I love not being bloated ever, so I’m sticking with it!

Day 11 – Wednesday
Breakfast – HBE after my workout. 2 eggs with spinach and proscuitto, sweet potatoes. My dinner last night was not large enough and I definitely felt it this morning. Probably should have added some avocado in there as well.
Lunch – Chipotle – carnitas/lettuce/guac/pico with strawberries and raspberries
Dinner – Out at Oceanaire. Filet with shrimp, scallops, asparagus

The client was in town and we were in all day meetings. I provided the snacks, so at least I picked healthy. But if I can make it through a day where m&m’s and popcorn are in front of me, I can make it through any day.

Day 12 – Thursday
Breakfast – HBE after my workout. 2 eggs with spinach and carnitas, sweet potatoes. The carnitas are so dry, I’m ditching them. Not sure what I did wrong there, but they are inedible.
Lunch – Chicken burger topped with avocado, brussel sprouts and a side salad with lemon vinaigrette. After all of my meat yesterday, I’m trying to get some veggies in today.
Dinner – Brasa – pulled pork, fried plaintains, yams. Was hoping for something besides starchy vegetables but no luck.

Today was a good day. It was definitely food for fuel, but I felt satisfied all day, and did much less snacking on fruit than I did yesterday.

Day 13 – Friday
Breakfast – 3 eggs with spinach and leftover Brasa carnitas. Not enough fat, so I ate some cashews/coconut/almond butter/raspberries when I got to work.
Lunch – Chicken burger topped with avocado, asparagus and a side salad with lemon vinaigrette.
Dinner – Roast chicken, brussel sprouts, sweet potato. Banana/almond butter/cashews/coconut.

Day 14 – Saturday
Breakfast – eggs spinach with chicken apple sausages
Lunch – chicken spinach artichoke wrapped in prosciutto, carrots, sweet potatoes

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No Snacking

Before I read the book, I thought the Whole30 was all about what foods you couldn’t eat. That is definitely only part of it. They also focus on eating three meals a day, with no snacks in between. The point being that your meals satisfy you enough that you aren’t hungry or tempted to snack. This is kind of a new thing for me. You always hear about eating six small meals a day as being the healthiest, but I’m amazed at how focusing on protein, vegetables, and healthy fats has kept me more than full. And I’m losing weight! Yesterday I wore a pair of capris that just last weekend clearly didn’t fit me.

This is definitely one of the things I’ll take forward with me. So often I would throw together a dinner that wasn’t enough food. After the girls went to bed I’d have a bowl of cereal or toast (always carby snacks, never protein snacks either). My blood sugar and my mood are much more even throughout the day now too. No more afternoon slump! I’m loving it.

The other thing I’ll take forward with me is the meal planning and prep. I’ve always meal planned, but only dinner and only the main part of dinner. Having all 21 meals planned out with vegetables has allowed me to look ahead to my week and see what I can prepare ahead of time. Last night we had roasted chicken thighs with broccoli, and I reheated the carrot/parsnip/cauliflower puree I made on Sunday. It was an easy, super tasty dinner that everyone loved! Normally I may have had the chicken planned, but definitely wouldn’t have known what to do for vegetables, so probably would have just heated up some corn or something.

So far, I have felt great. I haven’t had any of the hangover, detox flu, or anger that others have reported. I was worried it would be a rough first week, but it’s been business as usual. Someone on the June 1 support forum said sometimes our bodies are ready for change. Let’s hope mine was ready for change, and not that it’s going to kick my ass just when I’m starting to feel confident with this!

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You’re doing what?

On Saturday we had Delaney’s friend over for a playdate. When her mom came back to pick her up, we chatted for a while. We talked about working out and losing weight, so I told her that on Sunday I was starting a Whole30. That I wouldn’t be eating dairy, grains, sugar, alcohol, soy, or legumes for 30 days. She tilted her head and looked at me like “You’re doing what?!”

I get it. I really do. This seems like a really extreme, really hard thing to do. I watched others and researched this for well over a year before deciding not only was I ready, but I needed to do it.

Over the last few weeks I feel like I’ve had the “I have no idea how you do it as a single mom!” conversation with at least 10 people. The short answer to that question is that you just get it done because you have to, but the reality of that is that sometimes you’re left more than a little battered and bruised, and that’s where I find myself right now.

I’m tired. I’m not sleeping well. Despite eating gluten free, I still occasionally get weird digestive issues, which I’d really like to be rid of. I would also like to kickstart some weight loss. As I get older, it gets harder and harder to lose the weight and honestly, I have some cute capri jeans I want to wear this summer.

In the book It Starts With Food, they talk about the Whole30 as being a science experiment of one. You remove all of the foods that could adversely affect you for 30 days, then slowly reintroduce them to see what affects you and what doesn’t. They recommend making goals around other areas of your life as well, which I hadn’t thought of, but am embracing.

For 30 days, I’m going to concentrate on me. No I’m not going to neglect my kids or send them to my parent’s house, but I am going to step away from some of my routines, or start new ones to see what affects me adversely and what doesn’t. I’m going to eat three meals a day, no snacks, and I’m going to figure out what energizes me and what drains me.

Every night I put the girls to bed, then head downstairs. I spend an hour or so on the computer, then watch a show, then head upstairs where I somehow kill another hour or more. When it comes to getting to bed on time I am a complete self sabotager. (how the hell do you spell that?) I will watch the news, empty the dishwasher, play another round of candy crush, all knowing what I really need to do is go to sleep! I’m hoping to spend a little less time on the computer, or bring my computer upstairs so I can hang out on the screen porch and enjoy the evening a bit. Less tv, but also less phone. I’m making it a priority to get 8 hours of sleep, so that I can get up every morning and do my T25.

More than anything, I want to find things that I can carry forward beyond June. Little habits and bigger ones. For the Whole30 I’m making a lot of things I previously bought. Will I continue making my own mayo? Probably yes, it was super easy. But my own breakfast sausage? Not likely. But I’ll gladly make it so I have a sugar free option for June. I’m hoping to find some new dinners and vegetables that we all like, and am committing to trying new foods and new flavors. I’d like to find some bulk prep things that will stick, as well as some easy lunches that I won’t get sick of.

I know many don’t want to read a journal of my daily meals, but I do want to track things so I’m going to have one weekly post that starts each Sunday and I’ll continue to update that. I think I can make a link on the sidebar to see those posts easily, just have to figure that out.

So. Here we go?

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Whole30 Week 1

Day 1 – Sunday
Breakfast – Sweet potato hash with eggs and breakfast sausage
Lunch – Sauteed mushrooms and shrimp over zoodles
Dinner – Asian Meatballs, asparagus, carrot/parsnip/cauliflower puree

Feeling good! Skipped frozen yogurt after the girls recital and drank my coffee black (coconut milk in it is GROSS).

Day 2 – Monday
Breakfast – Sweet potato hash with eggs and breakfast sausage. I like sweet potatoes, but not at breakfast. No more of this. Also had a hard boiled egg (HBE) after my workout this morning.
Lunch – Sonoma Chicken Salad (chicken, avocado, grapes, celery, pecans) over greens. I thought I made two portions of this salad, but it’s more like three. The sad part is that I completely overbaked my chicken, so it’s really dry. Looking at my menu plan for the week, I’m relying heavily on avocado. I love avocado as much as the next girl, but I need to find some other options for lunch or I’ll burn out.
Dinner – Chicken Fajitas with guacamole.

I did not have the sugar hangover that many people have on day two, then again, I’ve been cutting way back on my sugar for the last two weeks. I felt full all day, although wanted something sweet after lunch and dinner.

Day 3 – Tuesday
Breakfast – HBE after my workout, then bananas/blueberries/coconut/cashews with almond butter. My intention was to also have an egg with some sauteed greens, but I just wasn’t hungry.
Lunch – Sonoma Chicken Salad over greens with half an apple.
Dinner – Ginger Lime Shrimp (Well Fed) with sauteed zucchini and roasted sweet potato. I loved these shrimp, but they were too sour for the girls. Of course we make a similar recipe, but it’s Honey Lime and they love those. Gotta love the sugar.

I felt great again today, just like any other day. Tried an Americano from Starbucks, but barely drank half. Black coffee really is hard on my stomach, and my acid reflux is worse throughout the day (I cough a lot, because things come up that should stay down.) I think by the end of this I’m going to be down to one sip of coffee per day! On the upside, there is a group of girls at work that all bring a healthy lunch every day, so we’re going to head over to Target Field and eat lunch outside. Woo!

Day 4 – Wednesday
Breakfast – HBE after my workout. Two eggs with spinach and proscuitto.
Lunch – Sonoma Chicken Salad over greens with half an apple. Hallelujah that salad is gone! I’m going to make soup with the rest of the overbaked chicken.
Dinner – Roast chicken with broccoli, carrot/parsnip/cauliflower puree

Some intestinal distress, but I’m assuming all the crap is getting it’s way out of my system. Switched to only tea today and felt great, although I got really tired by 8pm.

Day 5 – Thursday
Breakfast – HBE after my workout. Two eggs scrambled with spinach, leftover fajita veggies, and breakfast sausage.
Mid-morning snack – Coconut/cashews/blueberries/strawberries/almond butter. I don’t think I had enough fat in my breakfast and definitely felt it an hour or so later.
Lunch – Asian meatballs with zoodles, carrot/parsnip/cauliflower puree. Wasn’t super hungry.
Dinner – Grilled salmon with avocado salsa. Parsnip fries and carrot/parsnip/cauliflower puree. I have tried salmon cooked a million different ways. I don’t like any of them.

I WANT TO EAT ALL THE CANDY. Working from home today and I’m not sure if it’s all the tempations or what, but I definitely want sweets.

Day 6 – Friday
Breakfast – HBE after my workout. Eggs with spinach and breakfast sausage. Grabbed a few blueberries from the fridge.
Lunch – leftover roast chicken with broccoli
Dinner – chicken avocado soup. Bananas/cashews/coconut

I had a bit of a short fuse today but nothing crazy. Super tired by 8pm again.

Day 7 – Saturday
Breakfast – Eggs with spinach and breakfast sausage. Blueberries/cashews/coconut/cashew butter
Lunch – Salad at Buffalo Wild Wings. Roast chicken, greens, cucumbers, tomatoes. I brought Nom Nom Paleo’s Avocado basil dressing.
Dinner – Burgers! Burger with guacamole, sauteed onions and mushrooms, tomato, and lettuce.

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