Find what makes YOU happy

Sometimes too much time passes before I write. Life gets busy for everyone and lately it’s been a little hectic but wonderful at the same time!

Work

Trying to put together a race is a lot of hard work! Advertising for this race has been even harder. But I know it will be such a fun race!

Stoplight 5K for Valentines Day! 

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Our store is moving to a new location. The process of everything is blowing my mind. I am learning so much and am so grateful for this opportunity. Being in charge of choosing paint, carpet, and design is a little stressful but it’s fun!

Eats

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Picture thoughts/captions:

  • Meal prepping has been my favorite activity lately. I definitely go through phases but what wont change is my love for planning the meals out and especially the grocery shopping. Almost everything about it. Minus the dishes.
  • I eat a lot of salads. It is my favorite way to get my greens in!
  • Meat lately has not been my favorite. Seafood on the other hand- – keep it coming!
  • There’s to my phases theme again. I’ve loved my veggies though!
  • Sugar cookies have been getting my through my long runs. The thought of enjoying one after my run makes the 3 hour runs worth it!
  • I have finally decided (after 3 trips) which place has the best sugar cookies (between Swig & Slurp) The winner is Slurp! Both are great though!
  • I try to keep my eating to be 85-90% clean and 10-15% indulgent! It is what makes me happy!
  • I know this seems cliche but I don’t eat healthy just because. I actually enjoy the foods I am eating.
  • If I am craving something then I’ll eat it! i.e. the bagel from Einsteins.
  • Leo will not leave me alone when I am eating. It drives me nuts! I always give in and give him something and I know that won’t help him learn.
  • Having a stocked fridge makes me extremely happy!
  • I know what I can and cannot have in my fridge and pantry.

List of can NOTS:

  1. Cereal
  2. Nut Butters
  3. Frozen Yogurt
  4. The desserts I make even though they are healthy: I make them so I can have 1-2 then I give them away! It’s a win win right?

Workouts:

My week typically looks like this in preparation of  my marathon. I need to get back to my weekly speed training. I’ve actually missed them! Never thought I would say that.

  • M: Cycle and arm/back workout
  • T & Th: Pump class twice a week then 3 miles before class and 3 after
  • W: Cycle class and tone it up workout schedule
  • F: Yoga or Spin
  • S: Long runs

The pump classes have changed everything! I absolutely love going to them and my arms are already seeing a lot of change. I love working my back and this class really involves the back with every other body part. The classes work my legs without getting too sore for my long runs. It is a hard balance to lift and excel in long distance running. Thursdays’ pump class always kick my butt! Then I always follow the Tone It Up workouts! I joined a few years ago and I love the community. You are a life time member and it is definitely worth it to me!

Life

I am learning so much about myself. I’m all for analyzing my behavior and actions. I try to be and do better each day. I love making goals and accomplishing them. Of course I struggle with some of the goals like every other human being. I am far from perfect and that is important to recognize. I don’t try to show myself as a perfect person. It is hard since I can be a perfectionist. I am slowly learning to love myself for who I am and focus on the things I can change and not on the things I can’t. This is still hard for me to realize and I still struggle daily. Brown haired boy helps me a lot and I can’t imagine a day without him.

The biggest thing is the fact that keeping a positive attitude goes a long way. I am the type of person who cannot hide my feelings. It shows all over my face. I’ve always distinguished myself and probably a little too proud of is being “Real” but I have now realized that it is possible to take it too far. There is a time and place for that whereas the idea of, “faking it until you make it,” is necessary sometimes. As much as I don’t like that idea its just what grown ups have to do sometimes! I am almost 25, and I know that is far from old but there are some grown up things that I do need to apply to my life.

The things you admire most about others usually are your weaknesses. I always admire how the positive attitudes of some of the people I meet. That is my weakness. I am not saying I am not positive. I just struggle, when things are hard, to keep smiling. That shows lack of gratitude and I would hate it if that was  considered a characteristic of mine.

I am grateful. For my Husband, family, my faith,  job, friends, and especially for the power of forgiveness and the ability to change.

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Lets Talk: Thoughts on Paleo

Oh the controversy of Paleo. . . I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now but it is hard put everything down in a way that you don’t offend anyone. Then I realized that no matter what I will probably offend someone in some way. Before I get into it I would like to disclaim that I am not against Paleo. It’s definitely changed how I view food and I’ve learned so much about myself.

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For 2 years now I have been on the Paleo Train. It was not 100% Paleo but more like 80/20. I did plenty of Whole 30’s and 2 Sugar Detox’s at the level 3. I almost started another one on January 6th but realized it wasn’t for me right now. I had just done one and wasn’t ready to do another. Plus I didn’t think I needed it. What I really needed is a balance. A balance that is right for me.

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With the new year I definitely had some goals in mind. Regardless of a new year, I am already a goal oriented person and constantly re-evaluating how I do things. Which is why I welcome Mondays more than any other day. It has taken me a while to feel like myself again. I lost it for a while. I thought doing challenges like the 21 day sugar detox or whole 30 would get me back to where I was. But I needed was to re-evaluate that mind set. The realization that eating this way this last year hasn’t put me where I want to be goal-wise freaked me out a little bit. I thought I was content with Paleo defining me but in reality I had a lot of ups and downs mentally and wasn’t completely happy with myself or my body. When I am not happy with myself it intervenes in the other areas of my life and that is not fair to myself or my loved ones.

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What I needed was a change. You can’t out run a bad diet. Trust me I’ve tried. I know you hear that all the time but it is true. I wish I could have 2+ tablespoons of nut butter a day and stay lean but that is not going to happen. Through eating Paleo I have learned that I know my body and what foods sit well and what doesn’t. I know what I can or can’t have in my fridge and pantry. The point and key is to actually listen to yourself.

I definitely do well on a eating low-carb but not high fat.  When I am running a lot I can’t preform my best on low-carb or high in healthy fats. Paleo is not designed for long distance running. There are a lot more sweet potatoes and kabocha squash involved with higher mileage and that can leave me feeling ridiculously bloated. I have learned a lot on this clean eating journey over the years and feel like I have been through it all.

Learning that what works for others might not work for you is extremely important. I do not like bacon for breakfast each morning. I like eggs and turkey bacon though. I will not eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I can eat pancakes every morning though. The thought of drinking protein shakes after every workout just makes me gag regardless of how good my protein powder is.

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My Changes

As of Late I have learned:

  • I do better with smaller meals every 2-3 hours. This isn’t really the way of Paleo eating.
  • I tend to over eat if it has been longer than 2-3 hours.
  • I don’t get hangry while eating this way nor do I think about food 24/7.
  • Keeping my workouts during the week to an hour leaves me happier and with more energy.
  • Enjoying my rest days and taking more than one a week has kept me injury-free.
  • Workouts on the weekend are usually longer and I look forward to them.
  • Interval running, body weight exercises, and pump classes keep me lean.
  • I’ve been enjoying small amounts cheese and greek yogurt, hummus, quest bars and brown rice tortillas which is definitely not Paleo.
  • I am no longer craving Paleo-desserts on a daily basis. Or over eat the desserts I do make.
  • Keeping my meals at home as simple and clean as possible works for me.
  • I am back to eating clean 85-90% of the time. The other 10-15% is reserved for chocolate.
  • I still have a Paleo-eating mindset in terms of eating real and whole foods and I always will.

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The take away is I learned a lot from eating Paleo. I think everyone should try it out for at least a week and you will learn so much. The lifestyle is not for everyone! But I will not be labeling myself as Paleo anymore. This does not mean I will not be eating Paleo meals or stop pinning Paleo Recipes. I have realized what makes me happy and that has always been my main goal. I did see a lot of results when I first starting eating Paleo; however, for the goals that I have right now I will not see the result that I want unless I change. The changes that I have implemented I am already seeing results.

 

What works for you? 

Have you tried eating a diet similar to Paleo? 

I’d love to hear what you guys think! The good and bad! (hope I don’t regret saying the bad)

21 Day Sugar Detox Recap

The 21 days are over. . . There were definitely ups and downs due to outside (real life) stuff going on but that didn’t make me want to give up the challenge. I just felt like I was eating normal again and that was my ultimate goal. However there were times were I felt extremely exhausted due to lack of energy. I realized for all the exercising I was doing I needed more carbohydrates.  Once I added more in I felt 100 times better.

The first week was alright and a lot of “no no’s” sounded amazing. But once I fell in love with some food staples I completely forgot about those cravings. The main staples during this detox (and will continue until I get sick of them) are: Kale, Eggs (found out I can’t eat too much of them), and Kabocha squash. Energy wise it was good because I was on this “high” of doing something new. I love new things which is why I love Mondays because it is a new week- – crazy I know.

Second week was extremely difficult. I was fighting a cold flu that my little brother had and my energy levels were non existent. I didn’t want to work and I was in a terrible mood. But then again that week it was that time of the month so that didn’t help either. I was planning ahead for my day 22 of eats like crazy. Tortilla Bar, My favorite cookie from Whole Food’s that I passed up, Yogurtland smothered with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Costa Vida Pork Salad, and the list could go on.

The third week was a breeze. My face is as clear as ever which was a huge win for me. Whenever I get away from my regular eating habits (paleo/primal way of eating) it takes a toll on my face. I mean I am almost 25 years old when does it stop? Oh thats right when I eat clean and stop touching it.

The last half of the detox eats:

  • Eggs and turkey bacon
  • Sweet Potato Shepherd Pie (I go off of Janeetha’s recipe but use goat cheese and change up the veggies)
  • Tuna with Plantain Buns
  • Kabocha/Kale/Chicken Salads happened everyday during the last week
  • Cauliflower Crust Pizza (is heaven) I use this recipe for the crust
Turkey BBQ Goat Cheese Pizza

Turkey BBQ Goat Cheese Pizza

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  • Kabocha Squash Chicken Nachos: I was craving Nachos in a bad way. BHBoy made quesadillas for himself every single day so it was necessary. Topped it with an egg of course. photo 5-2
  • Red Lobster for the Birthday Boy a week late. Since the weekends are crazy there we couldn’t go on his actual birthday. I was expecting him to choose a fancy dinner but then again I married a very simple man.
Steamed & Grilled Lobster Tail, Scallops, and Shrimp.

Steamed & Grilled Lobster Tail, Scallops, and Shrimp.

The day after the cleanse I didn’t eat everything I was craving during week 2. My mind couldn’t even get over how much sugar was in everything I was wanting before. I had a maybe half of my favorite cookie from Whole Foods and then gave the rest to my little brother. But I did enjoy a Costa Vida Sweet Pork Salad with cilantro vinaigrette dressing.

This detox had been a long time coming. I needed this after our trip to California in April. I think that was the point when my eating habits went down hill. I thought I was eating pretty clean but after this cleanse it made me realize I was far from that. The focus is back but not in a way where I will stress over it and no longer have fun. Going out to dinner with friends, making Paleo/Primal/GFree treats, and corn tortillas thrown in there.

I reached my goal of feeling like myself again and really getting back on track. It made me realize a lot about myself other than how I react to certain foods. Honestly doing this sugar detox was not easy but completely worth it. Did I do it perfectly, no, but that doesn’t matter. What I got out of it made me much happier in every aspect of my life and that is was matters.

 

***This is not a juice cleanse where you do not eat real food. I never felt like I was starving and couldn’t eat. If you have been thinking about doing something like this you should definitely check it out. All thoughts are my own opinion and I purchased it on my own. 

 

Half way through 21dsd

Being half way through definitely has its pros and cons. Pro: I am so close to being done. Con: I am only half way through. This cleanse has been more than necessary mentally and physically. However there has been a lot of dishes  but the fact that I’ve been in the kitchen making new recipes makes it worth it. Finally utilizing all the resources I have is money well spent. Not wasting money makes me and the husband happy.

Speaking of the Husband it was his birthday this week. The fact that I made a cake full of dairy, sugar, flour, and shortening without even tasting the frosting was a gain. Usually it is hard not to taste what you are cooking/baking. I wasn’t tempted to because the ingredients did not sound appetizing. . . except for the chocolate. The buttermilk made it smell amazing though. In the end the cake turned out great and everyone loved it!

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After making Brown Haired Boy’s birthday cake I wanted chocolate in a bad way. I added a few Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips to my microwaved green apple topped with almond butter combo. Oh man it was worth every single bite. I’ve done that on 2 different occasions so far. Do I feel guilty about it? No I don’t.

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The reason is that  before my thought process would have been: “Well I cheated, give me something else, let’s make some Paleo chocolate chip cookies.” Then I end up snacking on the dough and having two cookies with almond milk. Real Life.

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Feeling: There have been more good days than bad. I had a few bad days due to work and added everyday stresses. I was a little worried about my digestive system. I expected to be very consistent during this detox. It’s not like I’m not going but before I was going a lot more. I really shouldn’t complain. I think that my water consumption has been lacking so once I start drinking more things should be better.

I am ready to take my exercise up a notch this week but if I were to do that last week I probably wouldn’t have been able to have any energy. I still managed to run every day at least 6 miles with a spin class thrown in there. But I could not wake up at my normal hours it was frustrating. I found myself choosing sleep over my usual exercise time. My body just wanted to sleep all day. I was fighting a cold flu that my little brother had and I could feel my body fighting against it. Luckily, I didn’t get it nearly as bad as he had it. 

Hopefully this week will go by fast especially Thanksgiving day. That will be tough. I want cranberry sauce smothered over everything I eat. But I can’t think like that or else I am screwed. I will definitely be bringing my own eat to the in-laws. There will be nothing there for me to eat I can promise you that.

Instead of sharing boring pictures with descriptions I thought I would share my grocery shopping list with pictures. 

Dinner/Lunches:

Sweet potato Shepherd’s Pie- My absolute favorite and lasts me all week

Plantain Bun Grass-fed burgers with zucchini chips

Grilled chicken with Kale or Broccoli Slaw

Chicken & Egg Muffins 

Homemade Ketchup

Breakfast:

Eggs with Applegate Turkey Sausage or Turkey Bacon

Pumpkin Pancakes– For Pancake Sunday

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Veggie Omelets with Yams

Kabocha Bowls

Snacks: 

Bananas with coconut butter or almond butter

Green apple with almond butter

Kombucha

Pumpkin microwave muffin

Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies

Un-pictured grocery stop:

  • Ground turkey
  • Franks Buffalo Sauce
  • Local Eggs
  • Pumpkin

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I will be going to Trader Joe’s tomorrow and will share my 21 day sugar detox friendly grocery list next time.

Have you done a detox before? If so which one? 

Day 6 of 21 day sugar detox

Lets just say that there is this one thing about women-hood that sucks. Well it struck and I definitely wanted chocolate in a bad way. Luckily I made some 21dsd approved treats that made my cramping hurt less. Men are beyond lucky to not receive the most desirable gift each month. But then again I’d rather have that than have an extra organ hang off me 24/7.  Too much? Maybe.

There is not a lack of food on this detox which is the best part! I got in the detox mood for a few days where all I did was read, cook, eat, and repeat. I think this was beyond helpful for the success of my detox. It didn’t feel like all I was doing was cooking and nor did I feel overwhelmed. I enjoyed every second of it. I was cooking recipes that I’ve always wanted to but just was too lazy to do.

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There has been a lot of sunny side up eggs but they are not getting old yet. I’ve been putting them on top of everything. I love when the yolk oozes out to dress everything underneath. This combo above was perfection. Egg, salmon, yam, and kale.

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I made savory rosemary coconut flour muffins (long enough title) and they are not perfect but they definitely fit the bill. I crumble it on everything which makes it seem less dry. I have made them before but I used a combo of grass-fed butter and oil and it was a lot tastier. These remind me exactly of the bread and oil from Macaroni Grill that I used to devour as a kid. The recipe comes with the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

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Finally made homemade mayo. Man was that difficult at first. I had to do it twice before I got it right. The first time I tried with a blender and it never thickened. The second time around I had Brown Haired Boy help me. Man! Whisking that long makes your wrist sore! There are things that I will change for the next go around. Like use a pasteurized egg for an example. I know that will make a huge difference.

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Fajita Soup. Perfect for the cold weather that hit this weekend. This bad boy will last me a whole week. There is everything you can think of in there, vegetable wise. I know that the crockpot will be a life savor while on this detox. I already have a few recipes lined up for next week that require my crock pot.

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This morning I knew I would be working out soon so I passed on the veggies. Sadly, this was the last of my Turkey Bacon. I wish I liked normal bacon but I just don’t. Yeah I know I am crazy. I love pork just not bacon by itself.

I also made Pumpkin Cream Chicken Casserole from Juli @ Paleomg. I loaded on the Franks Hot sauce which made it perfect. It doesn’t make the prettiest picture but who cares. This recipe makes a lot of servings! I’m pretty sure people are wondering why I have a tint of orange to my skin. 

On the treats side I’ve enjoyed sliced green apples (which I normally hate) heated up with almond butter. The other night I made a random microwave bake with pumpkin, egg whites, coconut flour, and half a banana. I topped it with coconut butter and I was in heaven. I even made it for breakfast one morning after a good workout and took a picture on the way to work.

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Ignore the awesome photography skills but oh my goodness how have I not made avocado chocolate pudding before. I was shocked when BHB wanted to try it. He of course said it was good but probably needs just a little more sweetness. But for someone on a sugar detox this was amazing. Banana, avocado, a little bit of almond milk, vanilla, coco powder, and done. I made a large batch which is probably the smartest thing I’ve ever done. After eating this and my random pumpkin microwave concoction I knew I could survive the next 3 weeks.

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Feelings:

I feel like myself again. Which is my whole goal of this detox. Am I going to stop because I have pretty much reached my goal, absolutely not. I can definitely keep this up for a long time. It is how I ate before so now I just feel like I am back on track. Of course once this challenge is over I will partake in a “Paleo” treat that revolves around chocolate.

In comparison to the Whole 30 I only notice the element of less fruit and certain times to eat starchy carbs. With this detox it is like I am doing the Whole 30 but in the right way for me. Before I had a mentality that I could overindulging in a certain food group because I was lacking in something else. This time around I do not feel that way at all. It feels completely balanced, as it should.

On the vain part: My body is almost back! I feel like I can get in the best shape I’ve ever been in just from what I’ve learned and by getting back on track.  Since I have been taking it easy on the long distance running I’ve been focusing on body weight workouts, cycling, yoga, and running for speed. The variation has been perfect along side this detox.

I’ve realized a lot about how my brain works. I know that when I am eating to be my best self I am so much happier. When I spend that little time on myself it helps me be a better wife, sister, daughter, and friend.

 

21 day sugar detox

Who wants to admit that they are eating too much sugar. . . no one does. I’ve always considered myself a healthy eater but for a while I was constantly “rewarding” myself with food aka desserts. Regardless if they were healthier treats it just got too much. I noticed how it was affecting my every day life and the most important part was that I just didn’t feel like myself.

I read It Starts with Food  by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig about a year and a half ago and that changed my way of eating completely. I’ve completed multiple Whole 30 challenges and eat Paleo/Primal the majority of the time. I got away from it during the peak of my race season and completely regret it. But honestly why dread on that and just move on.

A jump start was necessary in a big way in order to get back into my normal way of eating. After finding the book,  The 21 Day Sugar Detox I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. However the timing for my start date was horrible. I had 2 marathons coming up and after 14 days of the challenge I quit. It is embarrassing to admit that I quit but I definitely would have struggled in my races if I would have kept it up.

So here I am on day one of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Let me tell you I feel great. I know there will be ups and downs throughout the challenge but feeling myself again is the goal. The author, Diane Sanfilippo really hits everything on the dot. It definitely isn’t a gimmick cleanse. There is so much science behind it and it wasn’t boring to read whatsoever. She is helping us, the readers, to succeed just by how practical she makes the detox. There are three different levels of the detox depending on the individual’s background. I am on level 3 since I am used to eating “Paleo” but there are adjustments due to my activity level. I wont go into complete detail because you really should get the book or ebook.

I wanted to discuss the challenge here and by posting a few of the days through out the challenge will help me really understand what/how certain foods affect me. I will not post every day because no one wants to see meal after meal. But I will post every once in a while as a check in.

Day 1:

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Sautéed kale in the pan with some coconut oil and Penzy seasoning then added 3 eggs. 2 pieces of Turkey Bacon on the side.

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Before mustard & hot sauce

Chicken Breast, trail mix combo of nuts & seeds, and asparagus.

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Before my run I needed something so I had half of a green tipped banana (unpictured)

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Yam with coconut butter and cinnamon after 8 miles. Did I have a ton of energy during the run?

No not a lot but that was expected. Still maintained an 8:15 minute pace for an easy training run so I didn’t mind. Just tried to enjoy the weather before a possible snow storm tomorrow.

As one of the adjustments as an athlete you are allowed to have a starchy carb like a yam after you workout or whenever you think best.

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For dinner (about an hour after my yam) I had an easy lettuce wrap with reduced sodium turkey breast and crumbled goat cheese. Topped with Mustard of course.

Well that is the end of day one. It was definitely simple and nothing really exciting but it was perfect for a busy day. I might eat another snack before bed if I get hungry. This detox doesn’t have any restrictions on how much or often you eat. If you are hungry, then EAT!