Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meals for day 22

Ah! I made it. 2.5 days of training...great information....good food...and lots of new friends! 
Of course, it is always good to be back home. I was greeted with warm weather, a ridiculously excited dog, a hungry cat, and a refrigerator full of vegetables. I am so happy I went grocery shopping before I left. It is nice to come home to food! Preparation FTW! I will miss having all my meals prepared and waiting for me, but I am ready to go back to my normal one-pot meals and eating my way through all the fresh veggies I have on hand. 


Scrambled eggs and bacon. LOTS OF BACON. It was super crispy...just the way I like it!

This picture doesn't do this meal justice but it really hit the spot. I wasn't too hungry by 12 pm, but knew that I had a long day of travel ahead so I attempted to fill up. I had a warm spinach salad that included hard boiled eggs, bacon, mushrooms and onions all sauteed in EVOO. On the side was a large helping of broccolini and roasted tomatoes.  PERFECT lunch!

Home at last. I fixed my version of comfort good. A large bowl of kale dressed with lemon and olive oil.  It was refreshing and just what I needed after a very long day of travel. It was good enough to eat two bowls! Yes...I am now turning green from too much kale.

Off to bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day of playing catch up after being out of the office for 2.5 days.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meals for day 21

I have been in training all day and have to admit I was a bit nervous about the whole food situation. The training is being held at a conference center that is in a remote area outside of Minneapolis. With no car, there is not really the option to sneak out to a grocery store or salad bar for food, so I have been completely dependent on the food options of the conference center/hotel. Luckily, there have been lots of options and I have been pleasantly stuffed with good food.

After an early morning yoga session, I was ready for some food! I ordered an omelet with onion, peppers, and tomatoes. I didn't eat the hashbrowns or strawberries. Normally I LOVE hashbrowns with my eggs, but these were sitting in a pool of butter and just didn't seem appetizing. So I was not too sad to shove them off my plate.

What is it about sitting in a room all day listening to people talk that makes you soooooo hungry?! I was ready for something else at around 10 am. Luckily among the pastries and bagels, they had hard boiled eggs! SCORE! I snagged a couple and some chai tea. Perfect mid-morning snack.

Lunch was yummy! Roasted lamb, a side of steamed salmon, roasted carrots with ginger and a side salad with a couple of cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and sunflower seeds. The lamb was really well done. I was tempted to go back for another large helping, but everything else on my plate filled me up. Nothing like a warm, big lunch to fuel you for the afternoon.  Interestingly, about 2 hours later as people were fighting off their afternoon lull, I was bouncing with energy and rocking the breakout sessions. :)


I went for a pre-dinner run, so I was more then ready for a full plate of goodness! Prime rib, green beans with a spicy curry seasonings, baked chicken and sauteed squash. I went back for seconds on the prime rib. It was done just the way I like it! Boy, did I fill up on good food today! I am going to miss these big meals when I get home.

In addition to the wonderful training I received today (hope to blog about this later), I felt very successful and empowered today. I walked away from all your typical conference foods. The cookies, the chocolates, the dessert tables, and sodas. I didn't miss them at all and was very focused on the training and meeting new people.  I do have to tell you about a very weird thing that happened to me at dinner. I was sitting at one end of the table talking to my neighbor when I got a scent of red wine. It was as if I was a vampire getting a whiff of human blood. The smell was sooooo strong. I stopped conversation and had to look around. The wine was being served about 10 feet away from me!! It really did smell like it was right under my nose. I asked the person I was talking to if they could smell it and they had no idea what I was talking about. Talk about heightened senses! Of course, I stared down that glass of wine the whole night and silently begged the drinker to hurry up and finish it so I didn't have to smell it anymore. Crazy!

Another day of training and airport traveling tomorrow! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meals for day 20

Traveling for the next 3 days! Let's see how this goes...


Egg scramble with mushrooms, spinach, salsa and half an avocado.

Left over curry chicken, fresh spinach, and yes... you guessed it.. half an avocado


I avoided all airport food! yay! Brought a snack from home-- carrots, tomatoes and a snack pack of wholly guac.


The hotel I am staying at was great at telling me all about their food, what is was prepared in and flavored with. They even bought me freshly baked salmon without the sauce that was normally put on it.
This was a big dinner! Slice of prime rib, carrots, asparagus, and mushrooms and a "side" of salmon. was a lot of food...but I cleaned my plate and enjoyed every single bite! I will sleep good tonight!

Week 3

While time continues to go quickly and it is hard to believe I am starting week 4, I think the novelty and excitement around this nutrition program is quickly fading. Week 1 and 2 were not terribly painful for me.  There were more of a reintroduction into the way I had previously been eating before the holidays.  I was getting over a cold while trying to get back into some sort of workout routine and time just passed without me having to really give too much thought about what I was missing out on in terms of food. Week 3 was a bit different. I was feeling back to my normal self, getting in regular workouts and finding myself in many of my normal social situations that presented challenges.  Going out with friends for dinner, drinks, lunch, name it, I was in the situation.  And even if I didn't seek out the situation, challenges presented themselves to me in the form of a Starbucks drink waiting for me on my desk or baked goods given to me as a gift. Normally these things would bring a great big smile to my face, but instead they brought dread and doubt. Dread that I was turning away a nice gesture and doubt about what I had gotten myself into and if I could really finish. So I started thinking really hard about why I was really doing this. Why would I put myself through 8 weeks of deprivation and complicate my life any further then it needed to be. Despite the fact that I am stubborn when it comes to starting something and completing it, this is different. I have nothing to prove to anyone and it won't effect anyone if I don't finish. (Aside from the financial penalties I would face....) So why? Why would I do this?

This question becomes even more important when I try to explain to others what I am doing. I try not to talk too much about what my food choices. I don't want to be that girl that talks about her food constantly, but if someone asks, I am open to telling them about what I am doing. Interestingly, their first reaction is usually.... "oh, I could never do that" or "oh, I would never do that because...." Even though I NEVER recommend or force my choices on others, they are quick to defend their own way of approaching food and to challenge mine. "Why would you give up X?" "I could never turn down Y if it was given to me" "Happy Hour is too big of a part of my life to do that!"
So I have to admit, the more I get this, the more doubt I have.  After all, this is a lot of work. The planning, the preparation, the grocery shopping, the research, and the sole will-power can leave you exhausted.  So when faced with doubt and faced with the questions, I have to remind myself of the reasons and thinking behind why I am doing this and why I will continue to work through this.
  • I have some BIG goals to achieve this year. Physically, in my career and in my life... I want this to be a big year, full of big achievements. And I plan to push myself to meet those goals and to see how far I can go.  So if I am going to ask my body to train for a marathon, complete a century ride AND kick butt at work, I want to be the healthiest person possible. I need and want energy to wake up early, get a head start on my day and take advantage of every opportunity for improvement. The early bird gets the worm, right? And from previous experience, eating this way gives me an insane amount of energy and an alarm clock is not longer needed! That is exactly what I need for 2013. 
  • I will not let this limit what I do or how I enjoy life. Despite the fact that I am limited in what I can eat or drink for the next 8 weeks, I will not let that limit what I do.  Happy hours can still happen, hosting dinner is still possible, and going out with friends is encouraged. I can fully enjoy these things and the people that I am with regardless of what I eat or drink. 
  •  And this might sound strange given how restrictive this program is, but eating this way makes me really appreciate good food. I love food! I love everything about food. I love shopping for it, cooking it, talking about it, sharing it, etc. When you strip away all the additives and processed junk, you give your palate the chance to really taste food. When you don't eat artificial sugar in every meal, you can actually taste the sweetness in carrots. OMG..carrots are so sweet and delicious! You can taste the butteriness of good olive oil, you can appreciate the flavor of  spices and you savor a piece of ripe fruit for its amazing sweetness.  And when you do indulge in a sweet slice of cake, you normally save those indulgences for the best piece of cake you can find. A piece of cake that is known for its greatness and its quality of ingredients and you taste every single bite and will forever remember that time you sat in that great cafe, with that great friend and had that great slice of cake.  Yes, your relationship with food takes on a whole new meaningful and it not only becomes something that nourishes you but something that creates the memories of your life!
So my reasons are few but meaningful. Simply put, I have learned a lot about myself and what makes me thrive, and giving my body the best and most nutritious food does just that. So any investment I can make in myself and my future is worth it.  So bring on the doubt, I am pretty sure I can handle it!!

This week's workouts:
I was in a constant state of soreness this week, which felt great! I got a great 90 min massage on Monday and started doing more yoga which has helped a lot as I have started running more in preparation for a spring marathon.
  • Monday: rest (MASSAGE!)
  • Tuesday:  Crossfit
  • Wednesday: 90 mins of hot power yoga
  • Thursday: Crossfit
  • Friday: Run 8x400 sprints
  • Saturday: Crossfit and 90 mins of hot power yoga
  • Sunday: 90 mins of hot power yoga

Week 4 brings on it's own challenge.... no fruit or nuts! This is a BIG deal for me because I eat A LOT of fruit. My sugar intake is about to go way, way down. Stay tuned. Next week's posting will be interesting.

34 more days to go!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Meals for day 17, 18, and 19

Here are my meals for the weekend! Hard to believe week 4 is starting!

Day 17
Left over ground beef cooked in curry and coconut milk with butternut squash and two eggs.


2 pieces of grilled salmon and roasted sweet potatoes.

Big ole bowl of kale dressed with lemon and olive oil

Day 18
After a really hard Crossfit WOD, I needed a big breakfast. Scrabbled eggs with bacon and half an avocado.

I needed something light for lunch since I had a late breakfast and had planned to go to an afternoon yoga class. I sauteed some red cabbage with tomato and garlic. Looks a bit gross but was so delicious! Oh..and of course a half avocado on the side.

The same cabbage I made for lunch with a side of baked turkey breast

Day 19 
Breakfast and Lunch: 
I hosted brunch today for several wonderful friends and we enjoyed some really delicious food.  I made veggie and sausage egg muffins with roasted vegetables (green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower) with a side of berries and bananas.  (Had two of these plates..yum!)

Chicken leg steamed in curry, coconut milk and a whole host of delicious seasonings with left over roasted vegetables.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meals for day 16

It snowed today! First snow of 2013. It was just a light dusting, but it was enough to double the length of time for my commute this morning. Luckily Sasha and I were up early and had a some fun in the snow before I had to leave for work.
A frittata made with bacon, tomatoes, onions, spinach and mushrooms.

The other half of the frittata I made for breakfast and a side salad of spinach with a half avocado.

After 90 min of hot yoga and a cold walk outside with Sasha, I needed some comfort food! So I made this create combination again. Ground beef, cauliflower, and butternut squash all simmered in coconut milk and curry.  Yuminess!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Meals for day 15 is cold out! It was 19 degrees when I took Sasha out for a walk this morning and not much warmer when we went out for a walk tonight. It makes me a bit envious that dogs can go outside in 100 degree weather or 19 degree weather and be just as happy and excited to run around. I, on the other day, couldn't feel my nose or toes. I am also envious that Sasha gets to curl up in her bed and nap for 8 hours a day. That lucky girl! 

Today my company celebrated employee appreciation day. They put up motivation posters and left stickers with messages of appreciation all over the office. There was also an appreciation breakfast that was ready and waiting for us when we all arrived to work. This wasn't just your normal office breakfast of bagels, pastries and fruit, it was a full spread of every breakfast food you could imagine. There was french toast, egg casserole, scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, potatoes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and several different types of breakfast pastries (including favorite!).  I was prepared for this to happen and decided to have breakfast at home rather then depend on the served breakfast to have options that I could eat.  The temptation was great, but I wasn't hungry and was able to attend, drink my tea and chat with people that I don't normally get to see on a daily basis. Another point for me and preparation! woot woot! 

Here are my meals for the day: 
Two eggs with a side of salsa

Left-over carnitas with cherry tomatoes and a snack pack of Wholy Guac. I also had an apple on the side but it rolled out of the picture. 

Grilled chicken, kale with olive oil and lemon, and an avocado. Is there such a thing as too many avocados in one day? If so...please don't tell me. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meals for day 13 and 14

Day 13: 

Breakfast scramble with salsa, bacon, mushrooms, spinach and half an avocado.

2 hamburger patties, tomato, 2 slices of back, and sauteed onions and mushrooms

Roasted Brussel Sprouts. I really like the taste of brussel sprouts when they are roasted long enough to get caramelized and crispy but I have to admit, I might have left these in the oven for a bit too long. They were super toasted and crispy, but still delicious!

Day 14: 

What can I say...when I like something, I really like it! Same ole scramble. Eggs, bacon, mushrooms, spinach all mixed in with salsa.

A roasted chicken thigh and sauteed zucchini and squash

Baby carrots and cherry tomatoes


Carnitas, roasted cherry tomatoes and half an avocado. YUM-O. Thanks Mom for the carnitas recipe!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 2

The key to success in the Whole30 or any lifestyle change is preparation. The last two weeks of this program have been fairly easy for me largely due to my preparation. I spent a lot of time plotting out my grocery trips, cooking recipes that were large enough for me to eat for several subsequent meals and doing research prior to eating at any restaurant. All this preparation take time and can be inconvenient, but I have to admit, I kind of thrive on this aspect of it. I like planning, I like things organized, and I like structure. So by organizing the way I shop, prepare and eat food, I am eliminating a lot of the factors that could lead to failure.  While I can't plan for everything (ie. someone stealing my lunch), I am pretty confident that I have a good grasp of what I need to do each week to be successful.

There are a lot of side effects that can occur  during the first few weeks of such drastic food eliminations. While withdraw effects everyone differently,  some of those side effects include headaches, loss of energy, loss of appetite and/or extreme grumpiness.  I like to relate this to becoming a sugar monster. Take away all that artificial sugar and you start to act like a monster! I certainly experienced this with my first Whole30 but since I have tried to limit the sweet treats in my diet I wasn't necessarily expecting the sugar monster syndrome to happen to me this time around. Of course, remember that I started this on the heels of Christmas and New Years where I treated myself to my share of sugary treats, I still didn't think I would experience any sugar withdraws.  Week 1 came and went and I felt great! But week 2 was a different story.  I guess I can't really count Week 1 since I was pretty sick for that week and didn't feel well to begin with, so Week 2 was the first week were I was actually feeling normal and doing normal things. I was back at work and back at the gym. First I experienced the constant hunger, then the headaches and then the constant sleepiness.  So I tried to sleep when I could, eat when I was hungry and drank lots of tea and water.  Sleep fixes everything! :)

I do have to share my moment of pride this week. I went out a few times with friends and did fine with just sipping on soda water, but that wasn't really the challenge this week. The challenge was going to a bridal expo with one of my friends. I knew there would be food samples and came prepared with a bag of carrots and big bottle of soda water just in case of emergencies! Not only were there food samples but it seemed as though every other take had cake samples! And plenty of cake! You could just walk up and have your taste of whatever your heart desired. And if you didn't already know...THIS GIRL LOVES CAKE! So passing table after table of cake was heart breaking. Thankfully I survived without overturning any cake tables and left the building with dignity intact. Mariza-1, Wedding Cake-0

After being out of the gym for most of 2013 due to illness, it felt great to be back and forming some sort of routine. Here is a run down of this week's workouts:
  • Monday: run 8x400m sprints
  • Tuesday: Crossfit and yoga
  • Wednesday: run 6x800 sprints
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: Crossfit
  • Saturday: Crossfit and 90 min hot yoga
  • Sunday: 7 miles at 10k pace
My legs are nice and tired after a week of being back in the CF gym and running. I even treated myself to a 90 min massage! Yes..I said 90 mins.  Hey...I passed up cake and survived 90 mins of hot yoga. I deserved it!

14 days down, 44 more to go.

Meals for day 10, 11, 12

Oh boy, do I have some catching up to do! It has been one of those weekends where I was constantly busy, but not sure exactly what  I was busy doing.
While I still have 44 more days to go, I have to say that the last week has been pretty painless. With preparation and keeping my mind busy on other things, time is flying. Let's see if I am still singing this tune in about 20 days.
I plan to do another post on Week 2, but for now, here are the meals for the last 3 days.

Day 10
It doesn't look pretty, but it is pretty darn tasty. Eggs scrambled with mushrooms, spinach, bacon and salsa.


Left over chili! This just gets better each day. So glad I made enough to eat throughout the week. (See  Sasha's cameo!)


This picture doesn't do the bowl size justice, but this is a very LARGE bowl of kale dressed with lemon, olive oil and coconut aminos.

Apple with almond butter for morning snack and banana after dinner.

Day 11
I didn't work out until 9:30, so needed a pre-work out snack.  A banana with almond butter and side of mixed nuts.

And again, a mess of scrambled eggs, with bacon, mushrooms, spinach, and salsa. Lots of protein goodness!


Kale salad with chicken, almonds, dried cranberries, and cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil. And my new obsession: raspberry flavored seltzer water.


Whole30 potluck!! Woohoo! A few of the nutrition program participants got together to watch some hockey and eat some compliant food. Such a great idea! I took this picture about half way through my meal, so please excuse the mess.  This plate did have some roasted chicken wings, a spicy ground beef, sautéed bell peppers and onions, a crab meat stuffed mushroom, and garlic kale salad. Not pictured are the seconds I helped myself to!

Day 12: 

Bringing back an old favorite: bacon, eggs, and sweet potatoes. The perfect warm breakfast after a cool, winter morning run!

Lamb kabob and salad dressed in vinegar and oil dresses. (I had to throw out the feta topping)

This is a bad picture, but the food was delicious! This was some ground beef cooked in coconut milk, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes sprinkled with lots of curry powder.  This was a bowl of comfort! So good! I had two bowls before taking off for a cocktail party which was excellent planning on my part. No temptation to sneak a bite of all the fried appetizers floating around. 

Bring on week 3! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meals-Day 9

Happy Thursday! The DC area was bracing for a winter storm today and the chaos began early.  People left work early, traffic got a bit crazy, and preparations were underway for a Friday of being stranded at home...yet it is 10:00 pm and not a snow flake has fallen...not even a rain drop.
Sasha and I actually had a really nice, long walk outside.  No snow storm this time, just another cold winter night!

Here are my eats today!

Same ole: Banana omelet with almond butter smeared on top. I ate it so fast that I forgot to take a picture!

Left Overs! (I am the left over queen this week! yay me!)

I had the other half of my roasted chicken frittata from last night on top of fresh spinach dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and a diced up avocado. I really heart avocados! I wish they grew on trees! Oh wait...they do?!

Mixed things up a bit for dinner and went out! One of my favorite places in DC to go for tea and their outrageously good oatmeal salted cookies is Teaism.  The Old Town location is right next door to Trader Joes, so I usually make it part of my grocery trip to stop in at Teaism for a cookie before I grocery shop. Tonight I sadly turned a cookie down but found some food options that were just as delicious. Teaism has an eclectic menu that is a mix of bento boxes, curries and tandoor breads. The menu itself is just fun to read! There are a few location in DC and the Old Town location is newly opened and rarely filled with people. It is a great space that is quiet and serene. I secretly hope people don't find out about how great it is so it can stay quiet and serene!
After studying the menu before I got there ( a great tip for successfully going out to eat while on the Whole30), I decide to order the kelp noodles! Yes, first time for me to ever eat kelp noodles. I am not a fan of sea weed, so I was a little hesitant about kelp noodles, but they ended up tasting nothing like the ocean and really absorbed the flavors of everything that was mixed it.  To add some protein, I also added a side of grilled salmon. Delicious!

In the kelp salad was carrots, cucumbers and beets (all mixed in olive oil). Beets were also a first for me tonight and I think I like them!  Like them a lot!
I am certainly going to look for kelp noodles when I go to the grocery store next time. I really liked the texture and they would make a great addition to any salad or stir fry!

No pictures, but had the standard small bag of almonds, apple and some dry mango after dinner.

Another day down, we are in double digits tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Meals-Jan 16 2013

It was a rainy, cold day in the DC area and I was very happy to have some left over chili to devour! Perfect! 

Here is how it went down today: 
Breakfast: If it works, don't change it! Same banana omelet with almond butter and chia seeds. 

Lunch: Left over paleo chili 

Dinner: A DELICIOUS roasted chicken, spinach, and basil frittata with roasted brussels sprouts. 
Fact: Every time I use the broiler on my oven I set the smoke alarm off. EVERY.TIME!