Day 9 Menu:

Breakfast: Chicken Sausage, Banana Almond Smoothie

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad from City Range (Rotary Lunch)

Snacks: Apple, Pistachios

Dinner: Pecan Crusted Trout, Cumin-Lime Roasted Carrots, Balsamic Green Beans

 

Day 10 Menu:

Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Blackberry Muffin (using almond flour!Whole30 approved.), Black Coffee

Lunch: Leftover Stir Fry

Snack: Key Lime Pie Larabar (did NOT like this very much. but I bought several so I’ll eat them.)

Dinner: Grilled Lemon and Herb Chicken, Tomato/Cucumber Salad, Squash

Overview: Feeling good today, but really craving our usual date night pizza outing. We are seriously considering a cheat day to make that dream a reality! (REALLY fighting the urge.) Great energy, sleeping well, feeling GREAT!

I’m not sure what we will decide to do once we’re done with Whole30 (which may be sooner than just 20 more days). I feel good about what I’m putting in my body, but I still feel like other things are ok in moderation. I’m also missing cooking a lot. It has felt more like a chore to eat this way than anything so far, and planning meals and making dinner has become frustrating. And that is NOT the way I used to feel. So we’re continuing to keep an open mind, and bask in the benefits at least for now!

Summer

It’s already June. I can hardly believe it. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this Summer:

(things that are making these first few weeks move SLOWLY)

Trip to Destin with my family!

Seeing The Lion King in Greenville.

Going to Nicaragua with City Church.

Trip to Beaufort to visit Meredith’s family.

Those are the big things. I also can’t wait to swim, visit friends, eat LOTS of strawberries and blackberries, ice cream and sno cones (post Whole30, of course), watching our tomatoes and peppers grow, using the herbs from our herb garden, sitting on our porch in the evenings, going on bike rides…the list goes on.

If only we still had summer break.

Day 7 Menu:

Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Blueberries, Black Coffee

Lunch: Steak Kabobs and Greek Salad (minus feta) with Anna at Cuzina!

Snacks: Apple, Walnuts, Strawberries

Dinner: Grilled Chicken Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Banana “Ice Cream”

Day 8 Menu:

Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Kiwi, Black Coffee

Lunch: Leftover Chicken, Stewed Spinach, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with coconut milk

Snacks: Apple with Sunbutter, Kiwi, Pistachios

Dinner: Quick Chicken Stir Fry with onions, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes

Overview: This has definitely gotten easier. We’re still craving stuff occasionally, but not as bad in any way. It feels more normal to eat this way, and our bodies are feeling good. I’m feeling much less tired when I wake up in the morning. Woo hoo!

Cravings Galore

I made the mistake of looking up the recipe for Serendipity’s frozen hot chocolate yesterday. Why? WHY did I do that to myself? I’m not really sure. First thing on my post-30 day recipe list.

I’m sorry, does that not look delicious?

It’s amazing how addicted to certain foods we are. I pretty much feel like a heroine addict going through withdrawals right now. But seriously. Headaches, tired, the shakes…ok, not really with the shakes. But it is worse than I thought.

Here’s a list of things I WANT to eat. right. now.

Oreos, Ice Cream (any flavor), White Potatoes, Peanut Butter, Macaroni and Cheese, Alfredo Sauce, Chocolate Milk, Milk and Cookies, Bread in any form, Pasta in any form, a big glass of wine with dinner, CREAMER IN MY COFFEE, Bagel, Chick fil A, Mexican Food, and the list goes on. 

If anyone would like to volunteer to send up a prayer (or 50) to the good Lord to stave off my cravings, I would be eternally obliged.

Whole30 Day 5 Menu:

Breakfast: Black Coffee, Apple with Sunbutter….yep, we were in a rush to get to church!

Lunch: Leftover Chicken (from yesterdays fajitas), kale chips, fruit smoothie

Snacks: Not a whole lot of snacking today. Just a few blackberries and strawberries.

Dinner: Marinated Grilled Chicken, Salad, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoe (Thanks Walkers for making something we can eat!)

 

Day 6 Menu:

Breakfast: Chicken Sausage, Black Coffee, Fruit Smoothie

Lunch: Leftover Marinated Chicken with Kale Chips

Snacks: Pistachios, Apple with Sunbutter

Dinner: Salmon with onions, mushrooms, wilted spinach, Tomato Dressing, and Steamed Broccoli

Overview: I have to say that each day gets a little easier. While still craving (galore) certain foods, I feel less hungry, less tired, and less overwhelmed when thinking about what to eat and what to cook. I feel like the whole idea of doing the Whole30 is actually more overwhelming than actually doing it. So going into Week 2, I’m really making an effort to think about eating this way as normal. Fingers crossed that it will actually feel that way! 

 

On a different note,

Thanks to Leanne’s leftover sparklers from Saturday, Levi and Zoe were entertained for a good while after dinner last night. Love summertime.

Are they not adorable?

 

Mr. and Mrs. Jones

Since I’ve only been blogging my menu lately, which is also all I’ve been thinking about lately, I wanted to be sure and document Leanne’s wedding this weekend. As we ran out of the house (I was running a little late), I said to Kyle “Do NOT let me forget my camera!!” But, as often happens when you’re in a rush, I left the camera sitting on the dresser in our bedroom. Awesome.

Luckily, Mary was happy to help! Thanks, personal photographer for the evening! I’m sure that she will have a much more detailed account of the weekend on her blog. Read it HERE!

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Thanks again, Mary! So glad we get to be breakfast buddies now :)

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With the BEAUTIFUL bride! While we were dancing she looked at everyone and said “Y’all, its my WEDDING day!” And it was perfect.

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Yep, that’s my husband ladies.

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Sweet friends with Leanne!

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Wofford girls! It was actually chilly outside. That’s right, as in cold. On June 2nd. The Lord must have a lot of favor on you, Leanne!

This wedding was so much fun. Beautiful setting, great band, great food (that I could eat!), and fantastic company!  

Whole30 – Days 3 & 4

Day 3 Menu:

Breakfast: Hard boiled eggs, fruit smoothie

Lunch: Leftover chicken and broccoli

Snacks: Pistachios, Strawberries, Blackberries, Apples with Almond Butter

Dinner: Shrimp with garlic and onions, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Beets

Overview: Today was SLIGHTLY better. No headache, but still felt tired. This is going to be a HARD rest of the month.

Day 4 Menu:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos, Blackberries, and Strawberries

Lunch: Fajitas! (minus the beans, cheese, and tortillas. plus the guacamole.)

Snacks: Grapes, Blackberries

Dinner: The food at Leanne’s wedding! Roast Beef Tenderloin, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, pineapple, and cantalope. Yay for having healthy options at our first social event during Whole30!

Overview: Not eating wedding cake was hard. VERY hard. But we made it through. And that should be our last wedding for the rest of the month!

Learning About Calcium

One of the first questions people have been asking when we tell them about the Whole30 is inevitably how are you going to get enough calcium without drinking milk??

I realized I don’t really know how to answer them specifically, so I did a little research. Here’s what I found out:

Dairy is not the only good source of calcium. You can find calcium in a variety of non-dairy, nutrient dense foods, including vegetables, meat and seafood, and nuts.

  • Vegetable sources include kale, bok choy, broccoli, spinach, collard greens (good thing we live in the south!), turnip greens, and sea vegetables (like nori).
  • Meat and Seafood sources include organ meats (Which we most likely won’t be eating. Just to be honest.), bone broth, small fish, shrimp, and oysters.
  • Nut and seed sources include almonds (and unsweetened almond milk AND unsweetened almond butter, which are both delicious), hazelnuts, and walnuts.

And what’s MORE: 

It’s not just that you’ll find some calcium in these foods – it’s that the calcium in vegetable sources maybe more useful to the body than the stuff you get from milk. One study compared the absorption of calcium from kale with the absorption from milk – and found kale the clear winner. (Yay, kale!) And recent studies have shown that plant-sourced calcium in particular increases bone mineral density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

This is likely not just due to the calcium content of the plant – the complement of other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in veggies exert work together to promote additional beneficial effects on bones.

Pretty cool, huh? Learning something new everyday.

Moral of the story? EAT YOUR GREENS!

Whole30 – Day 2

Day 2 is officially over, and I would like to quit. But I’m not. Mostly because Kyle won’t let me. He says he hasn’t suffered through 2 days for nothing.

Fine, we’ll move on to Day 3.

In case any of you to decide to venture into this bread-less, coffee creamer-less world, I’m documenting so you know what you’re getting into. Also, it will keep me accountable, ensuring that I will be supremely embarrassed if I quit before 30 days is over.

On the menu today:

Breakfast: Chicken Sausage, Blueberries, Black Coffee

Lunch: Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

Snacks: Pistachios, Walnuts, Blueberries, and Strawberries

Dinner: Steak Kabobs with onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers

Treat”: Banana “Ice Cream” (just frozen bananas, coconut milk, cinnamon and nutmeg blended together…mmmm)

Bad things: Still had a headache today, but not as bad as yesterday. And I felt tired. ALL day. But that could be because I got up early to be at a 7am dentist appointment. Still craving. I craved a donut today (which I have never craved before now) when I passed the Dunkin Donuts sign. I almost gave in and ate an oreo when I got home. But then I realized I poured out the milk (good thing), so I threw away the oreos too.

Good things: Honestly, my body feels good. I don’t feel bloated or too full. I feel good about putting good things in my body.

Whole30

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Kyle and I have officially started the Whole30 plan. It’s Day 1. This morning I drank my coffee black (that was a first), ate an egg and some sliced kiwi, and was ready for an apple with almond butter by the time I got to work. 

Now, I’ve never really been a health nut. I love to indulge in a greasy burger and fries, pancakes with syrup, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, Dr. Pepper, etc. BUT, I know in my heart of hearts that this food is not natural, it’s not doing my body a whole lot of good, and it will eventually do nothing for my waistline, or my heart, or my liver, or my brain, or my muscles…you get the picture. I KNOW this, but I have never ACTED on it.  So I figure that now is as good a time as ever to take the plunge.

I read several blogs and looked up several things online like Paleo or Clean Eating. They all seem pretty similar in the basics….. lots of meat and veggies, no bread or dairy or sugar (WHAAAA??). Scary, right? No milk? No cheese? No wine? No pasta??? I’ll admit it. I’m scared. But I’m also willing to try it.

Whole30 basically challenges you to eat this way for 30 days. The idea is that in 30 days you’ll notice enough difference in the way you feel, change your habits, cut off (at least somewhat) your psychological addiction to certain foods, and that by the end you’ll actually WANT to keep eating this way. They claim you’ll feel better, have more energy, sleep better at night, recover faster after workouts….I guess we’ll find out for ourselves!

If you’re interested in trying this out for yourself, read the basics HERE!

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First Half Marathon

This weekend I traveled to Columbia, SC to run the Palmetto Half Marathon. Jessica has been trying to talk me into running a half with her for a good while now, and I continued to politely decline (I don’t have time to train right now…..my legs can’t take it…..I’m too busy these next few months…..I don’t want to…..etc). However, after watching Kyle run his first half marathon last April I felt inspired and decided that at some point in my life I needed to go ahead and try one. 

So at some point over Christmas, Jessica convinced me. My parents’ church puts on this half marathon and 5k to raise money for organizations in the community. This year proceeds supported Daybreak Crisis Pregnancy Center and Work in Progress.  Very cool. My dad is a big runner and decided to run this too since we were doing it. He promised to stay with me the whole way!

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it was easy. Because in fact by the end, I wanted to die. Literally. I thought that dying would be easier than finishing the race. True. Story.

Here’s a breakdown of my thoughts mile by mile:

Pre-Race: Nervous, but excited. At 5:15am I had my half a bagel with peanut butter. Arrived to the race, watched everyone warm up. (I didn’t feel a big need to do this. Isn’t that what mile 1 is for?) Excitement in the atmosphere. At this point the biggest discussion was long sleeves (it was FREEZING) vs short sleeves. 

Mile 1: Feeling GREAT! Over a thousand people taking off at the start line. Everyone cheering you on, laughing, joking. Awesome.

Mile 2: Still great. You can actually feel everyone’s excitement around you. It hasn’t been long enough for people to space out yet so you’re still running in a crowd, passing people, and it feels good.

Mile 3: Obviously, still great. My mom was a race marshal so we saw her at this mile marker and she snapped a pic. 

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See, there’s me in the pink shorts. Jessica’s in the purple shorts. My dad is behind us.

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All smiles. Feeling good.

Mile 4: Starting to feel the burn, but still falling in a great pace. We’re seeing people we know along the way. Cheering us on. Yes. At this point, we were glad we decided on short sleeves.

Mile 5: Still heading out on the race course, and we see the first wave of people returning (on mile 8). What are these people on? How on earth do they run that fast?? 

Mile 6: Still feeling good. Keeping a good pace and steadily improving on time. (Jessica’s Garmin watch let us know how we were doing! Kyle, I might need one.)

Mile 7: We see my mom again. Getting a little more tired, but still making it. Halfway there and making the trek back to the finish line! 

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Mile 8: This is where I start to lose it. This is no longer fun. This is no longer a good idea. Why did I sign up for this again? Oh right, to run up a steadily inclining hill and want to quit. This is where we lose Jessica. I could no longer keep her pace. I had to slow down to keep from passing out. 

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Bye Jess!

Mile 9: Better than mile 8, but not great. Wondering how far away we are from mile 10. At this water station the lady looked at me and said “You need to drink some water.” Thanks, I know.

Mile 10: There it is!!! Praise the Lord! 3 miles left. My dad kept saying “Ok, just a 5K til the finish!” Eternity.

Mile 11: Here we see my mom again (she was all over the place!) and Kaitlin was there this time too! As you can see my health is steadily declining.

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Here we come finishing mile 11. Rude lady wanted to pass me and said “Excuse me” quite rudely. You can see the shocked look on my face. We still beat her in the end. 

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Why, yes. I would like to quit right now. Give me a ride to the finish line? 

Mile 12: Yes, I think I’m going to die. Dying would be easier than finishing. At this point my calves were cramping up so bad I really thought I was going to have to walk the whole way in. But after a quick stretch we were back on track. One more water station and a MASSIVE hill to climb. Who puts the big hill at mile 12 and 13??

Mile 13: I’m not going to lie to you and say I ran up the massive hill. Because I didn’t. I walked up it. There was nothing in me that even wanted to try to run up that hill. NOTHING. Even still, when we got to the top I wanted to vomit. But people were looking at me so I felt like that would be awkward. Instead I started running again. Probably a good alternative with just over a half a mile to go.

Now, when I saw this (pictured below) it was the best feeling. All I could think was the faster I run, the faster I finish, and the faster I can sit down…..awesome.

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There it is!!!!

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Incoming….

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Incoming…..

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DONE!

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(ok, so we’re not actually pictured here. Kaitlin couldn’t get a snapshot of us ACTUALLY crossing the finish line. But we’ll get a look at the professional shots later!)

Post-race:

Yes, all I want to do right now is go home and lay in bed the rest of the day. 

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But, yes, it felt AWESOME to finish. 

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What’s amazing is that no matter how many times I thought in the middle of the race I’m never doing this again, and no matter how sore I felt afterwards (literally felt like I couldn’t move anything from my lower back to my toes without pain after the race), and no matter that we burned 1400 calories (holy crap)….the farther away from the actual race it gets, in my mind it was easier and easier.

Jessica’s already trying to talk me into the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon in Savannah in November.

I told her to give me a week to think about it!

Resurrection

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ “

Mark 16: 1-8