“the old me is dead and gone, dead and gone”

Mad props to T.I. for the inspo! The last 13 days have honestly been a total revelation to me. I knew that I wanted to try whole 30 because I needed to clean up my eating post-college, wedding, full-time job etc. However I didn’t realize how badly my poor eating habits were affecting my body.

Revelation #1 Food was wrecking my hormones. 

Shout out to the biebs for dedicating a song to me, “what do you mean?” it has really resonated with my husband for the last year and a half, but not anymore! After having a horrible experience with and IUD (post to come) I have faced certain death trying to reestablish my body’s natural balance: acne medicine (over the counter), acne cream, acne cleansers, different make-up, water pills, antibiotics, juice cleanses, supplements, vitamins, any and everything I could think of as well as afford, all to no avail.Until… you guessed it whole 30! within 5 days, yeah! 5! I started my period. this may seem miniscule but since my absense of menstration has been a source of contention for the last year and a half i’ll mark that as a “W”.

Revelation #2 Whole 30 is completely sustainable.

Sorry to all of the people that I may of sent into cardiac arrhythmia after disclosing that we spent a whopping $300 on groceries. That was a flaw all our own and we have repented. After researching what Costco and Aldi really had to offer we decided that for this week’s food we would frequent our “normal” grocery stores, instead of the store that shall not be named. What we got was a whole lot more food and a whole less panic! Success! Costco brought us canned wild alaskan salmon, tuna,  guacamole, fresh fruit, almond butter, organic eggs and prosciutto. While Aldi completed our produce demand as well as offered some great marina sauce and  Jennie O turkey burgers. Our wallet barely suffered!

We didn’t follow as many recipes this week since a huge previous cost was meticulously buying EVERY ingredient that a recipe called for. Christian and I also traveled this week, which broadened our whole 30 journey to eating at restaurants. We chowed down at Chipotle before celebrating the union of a beautiful couple! IMG_0019Our “bowl” consisted of: romaine lettuce, carnitas, tomato salsa (pico), and guacamole, extra! It was filling and fueled our dancing feet, hours of conversation and 2 hour drive back home.

The next day we got together with one of our mentoring couples at cheesecake factory! And since it was a moment of historical magnitude (my first steak in 8 years) I without shame, indulged in some decadent steak! The menu was very user friendly with little icons next to the entrees to indicate dairy and gluten. The waitress also made multiple trips back to the kitchen to double check on spices and cooking oil, she was a doll and got a good tip! The outcome was flawless. IMG_0025

My point in saying all of this is it didn’t matter if we were at home, on the road, or in a different city. Without a ton of planning we were able to eat great meals at chain restaurants and not have to feel ostracized. This gives me piece of mind because unlike some other diets we weren’t limited to food because of a brand or a label. Or chained down by a scale or juicer. We’ve been educated on what food is making us more healthy and regardless of where we are can make informed, healthy decisions. Finally!

Revelation #3 Boundaries can be liberating!

I cringe when people ask me about my diet*, because for once it doesn’t feel like a diet, or a limitation. Whole 30 is not a diet. it’s not restrictive. And no, it’s not hard.

verb (used without object), dieted, dieting. 

*to limit the food one eats to improve one’s physical condition or to lose weight. 

 As Melissa and Dallas Hartwig say, “quitting heroin is hard. having a baby is hard. [adhering] to 30 days of clean eating is not hard”. I’ve found that eating on whole 30 is actually pretty refreshing. As I stumble into the kitchen and 6:00 AM searching for food to sustain me for the next 6 hours of preschool induced chaos, I now know what I should reach for to adequately nourish my body and quench my hunger. No more questions, no more relying on my cravings of what sounds good, or what’s the easiest and fastest to inhale before I brave my day. It’s about what will fuel me. I’ve never had this type of relationship with food before. I feel as if i’ve finally come to the realization that this whole time i’ve been nothing but whoring myself out to food and have now discovered and incredible committed  long term relationship. And let me tell you, its great!

Top left: an apple cubed, 2 bananas, drizzled with almond butter and cinnamon. I call it almond butter teacher crunch! Since prior to whole 30 I would of grabbed a bowl of cap’n crunch.

Top middle: Slow cooker shredded chicken tacos. Our own variation of a favorite recipie. 1.5 C bone broth, 1 packet of taco seasoning, 4 chicken breasts. Lay chicken breasts at the bottom of the crock pot and cover with bone broth and taco seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Uncover, (try not to inhale it) shred chicken with a fork or slatted spoon because its so tender and go to town. We adorned ours over a bed of cabbage (red and green) and topped it with sauteed bell peppers, diced tomatoes (sugar-free) and guacamole!

Top right: “cereal” with natural carob, coconut shreds, sliced banana, and almond slivers covered in homemade cashew milk.

Bottom left: Salmon patties, so so so good. Covered in homemade mayo with a yukon gold potato and suateed asparagus.

Bottom right: hamburger patty On the side: fresh green beans seasoned with sesame oil and coconut aminos and cooked in coconut oil and cauliflower mash.

Do I need a second job to subsidize Whole 30?

IMG_0001Above is my husband, dreading ever having agreed to this whole 30 thing. So it’s day . . . three of whole 30 and guess what?!?!? I can barely see straight, my fingers are vehemently shaking as I write this post. I’m kidding, I feel great. Call it forceful optimism since i’ve roped my husband into this and then spent well over $300 on our first week of groceries (bulging eyeballs). Seriously though, we feel great. It’s 7:20 and the last time we ate was around 1:00. A balanced meal of chicken salad and roasted veggies which may of turned out more rubbered then roasted (carrots and I have a love hate relationship when it comes to roasting). While our dinner is more than ready, here we are sitting in the living room deciding what we’re going to be watching on T.V. and not scouring our pantry trying to decide what the quickest thing to make would be, or collapsing on the couch with a “healthy” bowl of cereal to tide us over until morning.

It’s a powerful revelation to be in control of your hunger and not by pushing past hunger pains (anorexia) but to know that you have adequately nourished your body so well that you don’t actually feels the pangs of hunger.

A couple of thoughts three days in.

Thought #1). Whole 30 should not under ANY circumstances cost you $300 for a week of groceries. Ever. NEVER EVER.

Christian and I have come to the realization that a certain “healthy” chain grocery store is a box of lies. You know the store that smells like a yoga studio and caters only to those affluent enough to have every outfit custom fitted from Lululemon (bouncing bundles of joys attached to the hip are not included). After spending most of our Thursday afternoon pilfering through aisles of non approved whole 30 spices and rummaging around for sugar-free bacon we left discouraged, hungry (since we hadn’t started whole 30 yet), in debt, and with only a few ingredients that were needed for our first week of meals. Save yourself the hassle and check out your neighborhood Aldi and Walmart/Target first. Aldi surprisingly had a ton to offer in terms of coconut oil, organic produce and the occasional bag of chia seeds. Our neighborhood grocery store had all of the compliant spices we needed (we’ve noticed Aldi spices may contain wheat, soy and milk so we ditched those) and we didn’t pay $5.65 for the deceiving glass bottle and green font.

Thought #2). Utilize your whole sale corporations like Costco.

After brushing the shame off from spending our months grocery budget on one week we realized we didn’t have to buy straight off the farm bison and never touched anything but human hands broccoli. Costco has some great options for meat grass-fed beef and prosciutto that whole 30 approved. As well as reasonably priced canned salmon and tuna, avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts, and fresh produce.

Thought #3). Anyone can do this!

By no means are my husband and I health experts or fitness aficionados. However by eliminating all temptation from our house in the form of leftover christmas treats and alcohol and replacing them with only whole 30 approved things we have been able to not only stick to the program, but enjoy it. We have enjoyed meal prepping together, trying new recipes and getting outside of our comfort zone with what we eat. I’ll keep you posted. Below are some of the recipes and links for our first couple of meals!


Top left: breakfast day one a spinoff from here.

Top middle left: dinner/lunch day one and two ground beef with green onion, onion powder, salt, and pepper, topped with wholly guacamole and a slice of sugar-free bacon from whole foods. On the side: fresh green beans seasoned with sesame oil and coconut aminos and cooked in coconut oil.

Top middle right: Our whole 30 sloppy joe spinoff. We didn’t have all of the ingredients for the sloppy joe sauce so instead we added some tomato paste, chicken bone broth, and Italian seasoning and called it spaghetti. However here is the  recipe.

Top right: Taken from https://www.instagram.com/paleoparisian/ such a brilliant idea and my breakfast for day 3. She has a ton of great recipes. I topped mine with homemade cashew milk.

Bottom Left: chicken salad with I kid you not the BEST mayo i’ve ever eaten in my life and made right from our kitchen. Think lick the spoon delicious mayo, that good! On the side: oven roasted broccoli and carrots season with some EVOO and salt and peppa.

Bottom Right: This beaut. right here got head nods from the hubs before it was even ready, definitely a good sign and definitely a great meal!

Also, I was gifted It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig, a fantastic read and definitely more than what we needed to get started.

I would recommend checking out this list for grocery shopping. I’ve bookmarked it on my computer I use it so frequently.

As well as this list for suggested kitchen gadgets before you get started. I know we love our food processor and spiralizer!


For all the dreamers

As children we’re told to dream, and dream big. But when do dream’s become realities? When do dreams manifest themselves into a reality? Does it ever manifest into something more than an enthusiastic thought or idea? Well, here’s to my journey into truly discovering my dream. My passion. I’m befuddled that i’ve been able to maintain this monotony of life for so long without truly being passionate about something, outside of God. Guess it’s time for life to happen. For me to start dreaming again. Here goes…

not my first graduation

The time has come. and passed. 24 hours there and gone fleeting into the not-so-distant past while still lingering in the present.

My seniors have graduated.

Not that long ago I was overcome with the pressing glory of receiving my high school diploma, thinking the suppression of school was finally over. It was one glorified day filled with pictures, tears, balloons, gifts, pictures, speeches, dinners and did I mention pictures? Complete with a senselessly long ceremony of over 4 hours to accommodate each precious individuals recognition. It went off just like every other graduation in suburbia did. What i’ve recently come to learn however is that not all graduations are formatted in the same manner. Call me naïve, but working in the urban-core has DEFINITELY my first rodeo. I was delighted and dejected all at the same moment, knowing that my first group (god-bless) of students were starting their journey onto adulthood. This past year flew by like a time-warped vortex sucking up every spare moment, thought and motivation that wasn’t taken captive immediately. I hope that this year was impactful. I hope that these kids know that they are the ones who can make a difference, and that despite what their peers or even parents tell them they can achieve greater than those around them. As I sit in this desolate place once called a “college center” I am disheartened by the characters being entered into the computer, “undecided” “full-time job” graze across my eyes as i pour over every ounce of student data that I have making sure that indeed, these were their final decisions.

“Could I of done more?” “What else could I of said?”

The fact of the matter though, is that it’s not about me. The neighborhood they come from, the place they live, the environment that they’re subject to every. single. day. has more influence then I ever will.

I hope they know how special they are. each one of them. How bright and how full of potential each and everyone of them is. I hope that they ask for help. Because hope, after all is all I can do.