Today flew by, holy moly. Crazy busy at work, leading my trainer’s class today, training my own client, and then making a quick dinner. Sheesh.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I stay track with my diet. The idea of following a paleo/whole30 type diet does seem difficult to most people. It seemed really hard to me before I tried it. But I continue to tell people that not only is it a piece of cake now, but its the best decision I’ve made in a really long time. And it’s changed my life. Here’s how I do it:

It may seem expensive to eat so much protein and fresh produce, but with some thoughtful planning and investigating, it really isn’t that expensive.  I buy most of my meat and seafood from Costco. I’m not sure about Costco’s other than my two local ones, but mine are carrying more organic, free range, wild caught meats and fishes. If you have a big enough freezer, you can stock up. I’m still working on my Costco run and that was about 3 weeks ago.

I keep a ton of frozen vegetables on hand. I keep an eye out for deals at Safeway and Target. If need be I stop at Trader Joes and Mollie Stones to pick up some as well. Every time frozen vegetables go on sale I stock up. This takes making a quick trip to the store at least once a week to make sure I have some good produce on hand and frozen vegetables.   Yesterday I went to Safeway and bought some staples: 2 containers of organic strawberries, bananas, organic orange juice, 2 dozen eggs, fresh italian parsley, green onions, swiss cheese (for the stevenator), 6 bags of frozen vegetables, organic romaine, carrots, and celery. Total cost was around $40.

Once you have the food purchasing down, now comes the cooking. I try to do a big “cook-up” once a week. Every week I try to vary the protein options so I don’t get bored. This week my schedule didn’t allow for me to do my usual cook up on Sunday or Monday night. Sunday night I pulled out a pack of organic ground beef, organic ground turkey, and an all natural duck breast (all from Costco) to thaw for my cook up. The meat didn’t actually thaw out by Monday night, so we dipped into our reserves and made a meal out of frozen veggies and frozen all natural chicken apple sausages.

Tonight I had some more time and baked eight chicken thighs. I also opened up the duck breast and cut some up for a “duck breast scramble” tomorrow morning. Pretty excited.

Tomorrow night I’m planning on making some paleo meatballs (out of the ground beef and turkey), whole30 marinara,  and if I can get my hands on a spaghetti squash I’ll make that as well.  This will be enough for lunch, dinners, and snacks for the rest of the week.

Last week we cooked up a big pack of rock fish (also from Costco) and had that all week along with Salmon Cakes, turkey burgers, and chicken thighs.

As far as vegetables: salads are my go to for lunch and having ready-made protein makes it easy to make a great meal. I like to have bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, celery, fresh herbs, cucumbers  and any other fun vegetables on hand to make the salads interesting.  Our fruit bowl varies from week to week. But the three staples we have every week are bananas, strawberries, and fresh pineapple. Steven likes to make smoothies some days so the strawberries and bananas are perfect for him. The fresh pineapple is insanely good right now (from Mollie Stones), so we cut up one a week as well. Right now we have some apples on hand, some weeks we have grapes, other weeks melon.

Keep your options varied, watch for sale prices, and be flexible. Being flexible allow me to save money where I can on fresh produce and allows us to try different foods.

I know this was a lot of information, so if you have any questions please let me know. I love sharing whats worked for me and help others succeed at this. Because its totally worth it.

Holy hell its hot already. 81 at 9am…. yeah, it’s going to be hot today.

So yesterday morning I decided to make some Whole30 approved homemade mayo so that I could make some tartar sauce to go with my salmon cakes. The recipe is super simple and easy to make (from Well Fed of course). But I of course managed to mess it up. Basically because I didn’t read the directions entirely. They specifically said, “Use light olive oil. NOT EXTRA VIRGIN”. Yep, I used extra virgin. Another blonde moment FTW.

But here is the recipe in case you want to try it. I gotta get out there and get some light olive oil (From The Clothing Makes the Girl:

Homemade Olive Oil Mayo

Ingredients:

– 1 egg

– 2 TBSP lemon juice (at room temp)

– 1/2 tsp dry mustard

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/2 cup (plus 1 cup olive oil light, NOT EXTRA VIRGIN) <<– hellooooooo

Directions:

Place the egg and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Let them come to room temperature together, about 30-60 minutes. Add the dry mustard, salt, and  1/4 cup of the oil. Whirl until well mixed – about 20 to 30 seconds.

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART!

The only remaining job is to incorporate the remaining 1 cup oil into the mixture. To do this, you must pour very slowly… the skinniest drizzle you can manage and still have movement in the oil. This takes about three minutes or so. Think about three minutes during a WOD; it’s a fairly long time. Breathe. Relax. Drizzle slowly.

If you’re using a blender, you’ll hear the pitch change as the liquid starts to form the emulsion. Eventually, the substance inside the blender will start to look like regular mayonnaise, only far more beautiful. Do not lose your nerve and consider dumping! Continue to drizzle.

I know this recipe is good and works because mine came out looking beautifully, and I would guess had I used the correct olive oil, would have tasted beautiful too. So give this a whirl and let me know what you think! Use it anywhere you would normally use mayo: tuna salad, tartar sauce, potato salad, you name it!

 

I had some alcohol this weekend. And cake. And possibly a little cupcake. EEK!

It’s ok though. It really is. Although I’m doing the Whole30, I’ve already decided that this is a lifestyle I want to live. So I’m going to do this for as long as I want to. So there really is no 30 day goal, rather trying to figure out how to make this my life while still enjoying the things I really love every once in a while. Which happen to be cake and alcohol. Wine to be specific. And Margaritas.

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far: cake (aka wheat and sugar) don’t make me feel good. Alcohol (margaritas made with agave tequila, splash of triple sec, and lime juice) don’t affect me too bad, except for make me feel hungrier after I’ve finished eating. Wine I’m not sure about because it was consumed in conjunction with the cake. More test to come on that one.

Sunday I was back to my whole30 plan. Lots of water, protein, veggies, and fruit. Along with a mud run with some of my workout buddies. Tons of fun. Today’s eats are also back to normal:

Breakfast was a spinach and mushroom scramble with 3 eggs. Followed with a blended coffee.

Lunch was a big salad from Mollie Stones with grilled chicken and tons of veggies.

Snack will be some strawberries and cashews.

Tonight Steven is making his famous taco salad for dinner which I am very excited about. I will make this whole30 approved by making some swaps. For example: instead of a tortilla or rice as my base, I’m going to bake up a sweet potato and build from there. I will have all the regular fixings: lettuce, tomato, olives, guacamole, organic salsa, and ground beef. It will be delicious no doubt. And I think the sweetness from the sweet potato will actually be really good with the spicy savory elements of the rest of the ingredients. I will report back tomorrow.

I hope you are all surviving this heat. And yes 91 is HOT where I live. Have a great rest of your Monday!

Well hello there 🙂 Its Friday! Yay! I’m stoked, are you stoked? The weekend is finally here and quite frankly I think I’m a little more exacited than usual because I’m slightly hyped up on caffeine….slightly. 🙂

This morning while making my usual breakfast (3 scrambled eggs w/ coconut milk, cauliflower mash (I ran out of steamed broccoli) and coconut aminos, Steven made me a pot of coffee. He makes the best coffee, hands down. I was standing there, smelling the deliciousness that twas a brewing, looked at my coconut milk, and happened to glance at my Magic Bullet and thought, “HOLY CRAP. LETS MAKE FRAPPUCCINOS!”. I think I may have yelled that actually. And right then and there, my morning got THAT much better. Here’s how I did it:

1) Take your large Magic Bullet cup thing, fill it with ice (it will melt if the coffee is piping hot like mine was). Then pour your coffee over that to the Max line. Add a wee bit of vanilla extract.

2) Blend till frothy.

3) Pour in some coconut milk and shake (with a lid on of course). And wa-la. Whole30 appropved blended coffee concoction. Or frappuccino. Whatever you want to call it. Get yourself a cool little staw like I did and enjoy.

Ok now onto some retail therapy. A few months ago Steven and I were at Big 5 browsing around and found they were having an athletic shoe sale. I’ve always been partial to Asics and Saucony’s, specifically the Gel Kayanos and Hurricanes because of how I run/walk. Apparently I’m a “Stability+”. So when I came across these super light weight Nike Flex 2012 running shoes, I was skeptical. But they were on sale for $50. My usual running shoes are three times that. I figured I try them on, walk around the store. They were surprisingly really comfy. And light. Super light. So I bought em to put them in my rotation of workout/running/training shoes. Its been a few months now, and they’ve become my favorite running shoes. And what do you know, Zappos has them on sale!

These are the ones that I have…

black nike

And these are the ones I’m getting…

pink nike

On Sale for $63.99! Helloooooooo. Plus no shipping cause Zappos is cool like that.

Enjoy the rest of your Friday and have a great weekend!!

I was suppose to write a post yesterday on how to navigate Costco Whole30 style, and clearly that didn’t happen. Lots going on over in my neck of the woods, so I apologize about that. And work has been crazy busy the last week or so with 24/7 projects so I’m a wee bit tired.

Nonetheless- lets get back to Costco. Oh Costco. You are like disneyland on a Saturday in July. Home Depot during a lawn and garden sale. Ikea on a Saturday afternoon. Crowded, uncomfortable, and just a straight up hot mess. But you have upped your game there sir. With organic ground beef, wild caught shrimp, and organic free range eggs. You make it easy to stock up on the foods I need. And here’s how I did it:

1) Go with a list: I took the Whole30 Grocery Shopping Guide, Good Meat Guide, Pantry Stocking Guide, and Grocery List to help me with this. I starred what I knew I wanted to find, highlighted the key words (organic, free range, grass fed, etc) and listed them all in seperate sections (fresh meat, fresh seafood, pantry items, frozen items) so my list was easy to navigate, and therefore Costco was easy to navigate.

2) Go during “off peak” hours: My costco closes at 8:30 on weeknights, so Steven and I stopped in around 7:30. Although it was crowded, we were able to navigate at our own pace and got in and out in less than an hour.

3) Know that you are buying in bulk: When you look at the price tag and see $26 for 1 pack of beef dont flip. Look at the total pounds, and price per pound. I found that most of what I bought was cheaper than buying at my local Safeway or Molly Stones.

4) Stock up on freezer bags: Costco’s got em. In like a pack of 400,000. You’ll never run out.

5) Check out the frozen meats and seafood: I found packs of organic chicken breasts and wild caught shrimp. The shrimp was pricey (Whole Foods is cheaper) but the chicken breast was alright.

6) Check out the frozen vegetables too. Huge packs of mized vegetables.

7) Buy pantry items in bulk: Organic olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, organic crushed tomatoes, organic tomato paste, and a buttload of spices. All pretty cheap.

8) Dont be tempted by the Moose Munch. Its there. Its delicious. But its NOT WORTH IT. Except for maybe in December. When it comes in large packs of two. With Dark Chocolate. I dont go to Costco during the holidays for this reason. I will eat the entire bag during my shopping trip and have to be carted out myself with my frozen shrimp and olive oil.

9) This one probably sounds stupid and we’ve all heard it before. But don’t go to Costco hungry. Go after you’ve eaten a meal. With the food court there and the free tastings, temptations are EVERYWHERE. Its much easier to stay on track with a full and satisfied stomach. That I can promise you.

So these are my basic tips. I highly recommend using Costco for your basic protein needs and stocking up for a few weeks. It makes creating meals that much easier. The worst thing is following a new diet, with no food in the house, starving. Keeping options in the house will keep you on track. I’m only on day 5 of Whole30, but im on day 12 of no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol. And its working 🙂

Hello hello!! How are you all on this fine afternoon? I just finished lunch so I’m pretty happy.

I wanted to do a quick recap of what exactly the Whole30 is, why I’m doing it, and how I’m doing it. I’ve had a few people ask me questions about it and a few others who want to try it as well.

The Whole30 nutrition plan is based on of Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s extensive research on how the typical american diet affects our insides. Both have exceptional credentials and a few years ago decided to create the Whole9 group. As the Whole9 home page states, “Whole9 is a community focused on health, fitness, balance and sanity, all built on a foundation of real food and healthy nutritional habits.” It sounds really simple, and actually it is. Their book It Starts With Food clearly outlines (in terms all of us can understand) why certain foods (specifically dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, alcohol, processed foods, etc) create systemic inflammation throughout our bodies and what that looks and feels like to the normal population. The book then outlines the Whole30 nutrition plan: a diet in which brings us back to our human roots, avoiding foods that our great grandparents wouldn’t recognize and avoiding the majority of the food American’s consume. Protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats. It really is that simple. Their book and website provide detailed guides on how to stock up your pantry and refrigerator to create the optimal environment for us to succeed in. Dallas and Melissa also give us basic recipes to play with as we begin our journey. I opted to purchase Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. Her cook book is whole30 approved, creative, beautiful, and delicious. I’m already meal planning my recipes throughout that and so far Well Fed does not disappoint.

Onto Day 3! This morning I woke up to my alarm slightly tired (as I only got about 5 hours of sleep) but awake in only 20 minutes after waking up. For me this is pretty good. I didn’t require coffee, but I had a cup this morning anyway. My breakfasts over the last few days look something like this: 1 1/2 -2 cups vegetable (broccoli this morning) heated up in my saute pan with salt and pepper. I add in 2 chopped all natural pork sausage links and scramble with two eggs. This morning I had some extra roasted kale so I added that in as well. This meal leaves me completely satisfied for hours and tastes pretty good too.

Lunch today was Chipotle! Yep, you heard me. Chipotle is Whole30 approved. Well, not every at Chipotle is Whole30, but a lot of it is. Here’s the scoop: Chipotle offers salads now that you can get anyway you like. Start with a big bed of lettuce and move right along to your protein. I opt for double meal servings (mostly becuase yo unever really know how much you’re going to get from the servers there. Some under pour, and some way over pour. The way I look at it, it reduces the amount of time I have to ask for more, and I keep the line moving). Today I got chicken and carnitas. Yep carnitas! Here’s why, straight from the Chipotle website: “Naturally raised pork seasoned with thyme, bay, juniper berries and cracked black pepper. Braised until meltingly tender.” And their chicken? “Marinated overnight in our smoky, spicy chipotle pepper adobo, then grilled. The char marks impart a subtle caramelized flavor.” Top that with some mild salsa (Chopped red, ripe sweet tomatoes, mixed with red onions, jalapeño peppers and freshly chopped cilantro) and guacamole (Hand mashed, ripe Hass avocados, mixed with freshly chopped cilantro, red onions, jalapeño peppers, citrus juice, salt and selected spices) and you’re good to go! A Whole30 approved meal. Here is what you look for when creating your optimal Whole30 meal: the majority of your plate is veggies, you have between 4-6 ounces of protein (for women) or 1-2 palm fulls, and a portion of healthy fat. Avocados you can have 1/2- 1 portion. See how easy that is. And again, it’s totally filling.

It takes time, but you will learn to appreciate the reasoning behind this when you feel the difference eating real, nutritious food makes. And the more you understand the science behind this plan the more successful you will be. Because it makes sense. And if it doesn’t, give it a try. The positive changes to your body might be all you need 🙂

As you read through It Starts with Food and Well Fed you may be daunted by the amount of protein, veggies, fruits, and fats you have to buy to keep yourself fed. I was at first, but I did some exploring and found some great tips and tools that I want to share with you all tomorrow. So stay tuned for how I navigate Costco and fill my fridge, freezer, and pantry with real food.

Until next time…

Keep cool my babeeeeesssssssssss <— high five if you know this reference

Morning everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was insanely productive, in case you were wondering. I was on call this weekend for work (I’m in logistics), working every 6 hours for one of my clients. Crazy huh? In between work, I got in 2 great workouts Saturday and Sunday (thanks to my awesome and creative trainer Ami), ate some delicious food (which I will go over shortly), washed all 3 of our cars,  and made some highly anticipated purchases for my home: BBQ, rug for my dining room, dining room table & chairs, walk way lights for my front yard, and a full length mirror for our bedroom. Like I  said, highly productive.

Ok so let’s get back to the Cleanse. I’m done! =) Saturday was my last day and it was full of delicious goods (I just spelled delicious, delishishous… first blonde moment of the day). Sasha prepared paleo banana waffles and mango/strawberry compote for my breakfast saturday. I ended up eating one waffle before my workout and the other after. Lunch was 3 tuna cakes and roasted kale (I ended up only eating 2 and saving the third for dinner). Dinner was a huge ass salad, 1 tuna cake, and avocado. Really good.

I weighed myself Sunday morning, and lost about 3.4lbs total. Not my biggest weight loss, but definitely a start on my weight loss journey. All of the other benefits completely trump the weight loss anyway. My acne is gone, and what I had before the cleanse is healing. My sugar cravings are virtually gone (the emotional ones I’m still dealing with as they come), I am energized/awake/alert, happier!, my hair is thick and manageable. My outlook on food is slowly changing. I’m seeing more of what I eat as fuel and nourishment instead of just stuffing my face. I’m trying to deal with my emotions as they come, instead of turning to food for comfort. My quality of sleep has improved (this weekend doesn’t count with the whole being on call thing). All and all good changes.

I decided that I would follow the Whole30 plan once I finished this cleanse to continue the reset and see how my body would do on a mostly protein/veggie/fruit/healthy fat diet. I started promptly Sunday morning with an egg, pork sausage and broccoli scramble. (one egg, 2 small links, about 1 cup broccoli). This was my pre-workout fuel and breakfast and it worked great. No bloating, didn’t feel like I was going to puke during my workout, and gave me the energy I needed. For lunch we stopped at the Whole Foods and grabbed some goods. I had steamed and sautéed veggies and some pork verde (all natural whole30 approved). I ended up only eating half of my portion, and ate the other half about 3 hours later. For dinner, I wanted to make something delicious out of Well Fed (my staple for the next month). So Steven and I had grilled Salmon (mine in coconut oil), sautéed green beans, and I added cauliflower mash because it’s just so comforting and good. We were both totally satisfied. Of course we sat there reminiscing about Reeses for about 5 minutes, trying to convince ourselves that in fact they are good for us. Peanut butter? Gooood. Dark Chocolate? Goooood. LoL. Only in our dreams…

Tonight were off to the Gigantes game to watch them pummel the D-backs. I just realized that every time I do a cleanse, I go to a Giants game lol. I’m not on my cleanse, but I am bringing my own food again. Leftover cauliflower mash, green beans, and grilled salmon. Plus were taking the train… and usually Coors Lite accompanies us on our journey. It’s gonna be a test, but the end game is totally worth it.

Hope you all have a great rest of your day, enjoy this heat and GO GIANTS!!!