10 Things from 10 Days

Today is the 10th day of the 10 Day Gutbliss Detox that D and I are doing.  With how crazy work is right now for both of us, and the winter weather kicking in, meals haven’t gone quite as well as we had hoped, but I can tell you that we are feeling a TON better, and both of us have shed some “bloat” weight these past 10 days.  I have dropped about 7lbs, and D had already dropped 7lbs by day 5 (men!!).  We are both eating more now that we were, and feeling pretty good, too!  I am looking forward to adding foods back in and figuring out what exactly was the cause of the many issues I had been having, and that D had been having.  I’m thinking mine was gluten, and his might be dairy.  We will find out!  Adding gluten back tomorrow and will see what happens.

 

A quick 10 day recap for you…

 

10 Things from 10 Days of Gutbliss

 

  1. Wow.  Need lots of water with lots of fiber.
  2. Green juice in the morning works just as well as a pre-workout or coffee. I have had enough energy in the mornings (even with crappy sleep) to push myself hard in the gym.
  3. When you add ground flax seed and psyllium husk to smoothies, you don’t need protein powder or dairy elements to make you feel full.
  4. My PMS symptoms improved *exponentially*
  5. My skin is actually more clear. Attribute to added water or the mainly plant based diet?
  6. I miss cheese.
  7. I can eat more calories and lose weight if I’m eating the right calories. I’ve averaged about 2,000 calories a day on intake, versus the 1,600 I was having before (and not eating back workout calories).
  8. Apparently all rice is not gluten free… Only brown rice.
  9. I haven’t had a headache in 10 days!
  10. When I have a craving, eat it – just make it work. Example:  Turkey Burgers with guacamole and caramelized onions on sweet potato “buns” when craving a huge burger.

Not Gutless. Need Gutbliss!

Happy New Year to all of my readers!  Last year was year one of my blog.  While I didn’t get as many blogs written as I would have liked, I loved doing it.  2015 was a crazy year for me, and there were a lot of things I went thru that really made me evaluate who I was and what I am doing on a daily basis.  I didn’t get any closer to my health goals; I got further away.  I didn’t grow a huge Beachbody business; I quit.  What I did do is get help for myself, and for my family.

Over the summer, I made the very hard decision to see a doctor and get help for what my brain was putting me thru; I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  Admitting this to the world is not easy, and it has taken me months to be able to accept it myself.  Nothing about this disease is fun, but I have learned to think about things differently, see the world differently, be less judgemental, and know when enough is enough for me.

Now that I’ve gotten my brain under control (most days), it’s time to get focused back on the other health goals.  This year my goal is to not give up on myself.  Last year, I became a badass, a blogger, a Beachbody coach, and went thru hell mentally, BUT I came out on the other side.  This year I’m pushing it further.  I WILL get to where I see myself, I WILL be comfortable with who I am (inside and out), and I WILL continue to raise my little girl to embrace who she is (a very strong little girl who is going to be something absolutely amazing and bring so much joy to so many people).

Step one to my health goals?  Figure out what in the HELL is wrong with my digestive system… And D’s, too!  Time to begin a “detox” of sorts… No, not for calories, but to eliminate what the author of Gutbliss, Dr. Robynne Chutkan, calls SAD GAS (Soy, Artificial Sweeteners, Dairy, Gluten, Alcohol, and [added] Sugars).  I’m actually going to be consuming significantly more calories everyday with this more plant based diet (lean proteins only a few times a week), so I will likely be challenged to accept that eating more helps you weigh less.  After reading Gutbliss in one sitting, I have a suspicion that I have either a gluten intolerance or even Celiac.  Perhaps it’s nothing, but I will find out one way or another with this!

Eliminating things from our diets is not a foreign concept here with Mini Me’s allergies, but still requires prep work for two people.  IMG_0858.JPGDr. Chutkan asks those doing the 10 day plan to have green juice and her Magic smoothie every day, as well as a probiotic, and ground psyllium husk.  I spent a large portion of my New Year’s day planning out the meals and snacks for D and I,
and a large portion of the second day of the year in the produce section with Mini Me and in the kitchen getting some of the things prepped here.  This included the very basic task of making space in the fridge for the abundance amount of produce, to making things for the week. I made Homemade Energy Bars and Fruit, Seed, and Nut Trail Mix.

Homemade snacks may take just a few minutes longer than buying them already made, but I find comfort in knowing EXACTLY what is in my food.

 

Homemade Energy Bars

IMG_0921

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 1/3 cups pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit for topping, optional (I used coconut)

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients in food processor and process until it seems to be sticking together slightly in bowl of processor, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out.  While still separated sprinkle optional dried fruit on top.
  • Using your hands, compress the mixture until it is a solid ‘blob’ on the sheet.
  • Put in fridge or freezer for about 30 minutes so it has a chance to solidify further.
  • Pull out, and slice into 6-8 even pieces.

That’s it.  Seems like there are a lot of steps, but this really is one of the easiest recipes ever… Not to mention TASTY!

Makes 6-8 servings.  113 cal – 6.2g fat/13.7g carb/2.8g protein

 

Homemade Trail Mix

IMG_0928

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cashews
  • 8 ounces almonds
  • 4 1/2 ounces sunflower seeds
  • 4 1/2 ounces pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I went with a mix)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes

Directions:

  • Mix in a large bowl.  Put in serving size containers or serve as-is!

Serving size – 1/3 cup, contains 20 servings.  280 cal – 20.8g fat/16.6 g carb/9.4g protein

The end… And…SUSHI!

Yesterday I made the tough decision to end my adventure into the world of my second Whole30. I had decided at the beginning of this year that my healthy lifestyle was going to be something I enjoyed and not despised. While I agree with the principles of the Whole30, I do not want to deprive myself of some of my favorite foods because they don’t fit into a bucket created by someone. It did give me a chance to be able to refocus my nutrition on healthy and natural sources of foods, remind me that most of my foods at meals should be vegetables, and that I need to be mindful of the other “crap” that I consume. However, I need to be able to enjoy things like sushi and the occasional beverage. So, back to my norm – eat what I enjoy, in moderation, and find new ways to serve healthy foods to my family.

Now, back to sushi…  Mmm… Sushi.  We ordered takeout from our favorite sushi place last night for dinner, Aodake.  Fantastic place, three locations in the Chicagoland area now. Woo!  The two below are my favorites.

Baked scallop, crab, shrimp and cream sauce
Baked scallop, crab, shrimp and cream sauce
Spicy salmon, avocado, cucumber in soy paper, with assortment of fresh fish, tobiko on top (12pc)
Spicy salmon, avocado, cucumber in soy paper, with assortment of fresh fish, tobiko on top (12pc)

The dynamite roll is AMAZING!!!  And the perfect rainbow is, well, perfect!  Anyone I have introduced to these two rolls love them, and I have not been able to find anything like them at any other sushi place.  Now, if they could somehow come up with a frequent diners card my life would be complete!

I start working out again tomorrow.  After hurting my knee last Sunday during goblet squats, I gave it a rest week.  I can’t wait! I feel like I’ve gotten soft this week even though I have been eating very well.

Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Who got me a stripper??

It has been a busy week and a half for me!  Just about two weeks ago I got to help one of my best friends celebrate her 30th birthday with an amazing party at a local bar.  I donated a hotel room to the cause, which was the site of a little girl bonding time while we were getting ready and an after party.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a party that I was at (or hosting) unless there was a random pop-in by the police.  IMG_7651No… We weren’t that awful!  I am in my 30s… I am somewhat respectful (shush).  The people a few rooms down weren’t all that respectful, though, and filled the hall with some very rank weed smoke.  Blech!  The cops heard our music, stopped by, and of course I made friends with them.  Sometimes, making a police officer laugh (in this case five police officers laugh) is enough for me.  Brings me back to my birthday when my cousin, Sarah, and I moved into together when I was right out of college.  We were pre-gamming prior to going out to the bar when there was a pounding on the apartment door.  Me, being me, got up to answer the door and on the way to the door says loudly… “Which one of you guys got me a cop stripper???”  I open the door, and who else would be standing there but  a police man.  I don’t know whose face was more red… Mine or his.  Turns out he was looking for the previous resident.  Good laughs all around for that one.

The Monday after my friend’s birthday I started the Whole30 again.  I did this downloadonce before a few years back to help get my body rid of toxins and launched into a year of paleo eating.  I have pretty much eaten clean since, taking learning’s of my paleo stint into my cooking, but felt the need to get my system clean of hormones and toxins.  I’m now a week and a half into it and feel pretty good.  Not going to lie… The first few days were hell… My body wanted SUGAR!!!!  I stayed strong and maintained composure (sorry to my coworkers if I was snappy last week).

Last night I wanted to do something different for dinner.  I was doing just meats or eggs and veggies for dinners and lunches since I was low on time, but last night I felt inspired.  I had a leftover cooked acorn squash from the previous night that I wanted to use for D and I, and I wanted to stuff it.  One of my favorite acorn squash recipes is a turkey stuffed acorn squash with rice and butter and cheese… Well, three of those things are not allowed on the Whole30, so I got to brainstorming, and this is what I came up with.

IMG_7917

Creamy Cauliflower and Zucchini Rice

Ingredients

IMG_7933

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2T bacon fat
  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned, light or full fat)
  • 1T nutritional yeast
  • 1t sea salt
  • 1t black pepper
  • 1t herbes de provence

Directions

  1. Prepare food processor with the shredding blade attached.

2.  Slice cauliflower so that it fits in your food processor funnel, and go to town. Mini Me enjoyed helping me with this.  She was the official button-presser.

IMG_7932

3.  Once all of your cauliflower is “riced”, pour into a bowl and set aside. Cut the ends off the zucchini, and shred away!  Pour into a bowl and set aside.

IMG_7930 IMG_7929

4.  Repeat shredding process one last time with the onion and garlic cloves.

5.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2T of bacon fat until melted.

IMG_7928

6.  Pour in onion and garlic combination and sauté for a few minutes (until fragrant).

IMG_7927

7.  Add coconut milk, cauliflower, zucchini, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 12-15 minutes stirring occasionally.

IMG_7926

This cauliflower rice can be used alone as a side, topped with a meat, over easy eggs (yummy breakfast this morning), or as a stuffing for various other vegetables.  Hope you enjoy as much as we all did!!

IMG_7917

Makes around 6 large servings.

Cal – 145, Fat – 9g, Carb – 15g, Protein – 5g

What a Whirlwind!

Wow…. This week has been a whirlwind!

Monday I was dress shopping with my mom and Mini Me for my brother’s wedding.  Luck for both of them!  They will look great!  Not so much luck for me…. I just couldn’t find anything that jumped out at me.  Luckily, I still have time.  Looking forward to seeing my older brother marry the woman of his dreams!!

Tuesday it was back to work… But just for a few hours… Got the call to pick up Mini.  Pink eye… Poor girl had a swollen face like no other.

Wednesday it was back to work again (thanks D for staying home with her)…. SWAMPED!!

And today… I has a case of the feels.  Sigh.  I’m sure at some point everyone just feels down for no reason.  I’ve been in a funk lately.  The only thing I can attribute it to is lack of sun.  Time to start taking my Vitamin D again!

The one thing that I have been able to do this week, mainly because it is soooo simple to do, is make bread.  With Mini’s allergies, finding store-bought baked goods is always a bit difficult… And to be honest… I would SOOO much rather feed her and D something I make myself with whole and natural ingredients.  Enter Honey Wheat Bread.

Seriously, this recipe is beyond easy, nutritious, and delicious!

I slightly modified this recipe I found on allrecipes.com.

Honey Wheat Bread (for bread machine)

IMG_7296[1]   

Ingredients:

 IMG_7275[1]

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted or solid, either way works!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Directions:

IMG_7273[1]

Add ingredients according to the manufacturer’s directions to your bread machine. Use the wheat bread cycle and light color setting.

Let cool slightly and enjoy immediately, or cool completely and slice into pieces for sandwiches or toast.  Yum!

No, Mommy… You can’t go run. I want pancakes.

Sunday morning.  The first morning in a week that the temperatures have been over 20 degrees.  This means… RUNNING!!!  I’ve been waiting for this morning for a week.  The arctic temps here in Chi town have been insane.  Time for them to move on and make someone else miserable (sorry if you are that someone else).

Going to bed last night, I triple checked to be sure I had my alarm set so that I could wake up and get a run in around 7am.  I wasn’t planning a long run, just a quick 30 minutes out getting some fresh air, shoes to the pavement, enjoying the “me” time.  Alarm went off, I got up, slowly started getting myself to wake up enough for my brain to tell my feet to move one in front of the other, and suddenly I hear…”MOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!!!  MOMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY!!!” coming from the room next to mine.  Mini Me was awake.  I suppose I can’t really complain when she sleeps 12 hours, but darn it… I wanted to be out the door when she woke up.  I go in, give her wake-up snuggles, and asks if she wants to hang out with me while I finish getting dressed for my run.  She looks at me all innocent and says, “No, Mommy.  You can’t go run.  I want pancakes.”  I explained to her that she can get up, have some milk and a banana while I was running and when I got back I would make her pancakes.  Told her I would be gone for 45 minutes, max.  She seemed ok with this rationale.

I finished getting dressed, getting my new ear buds in (thanks to my bro-in-law) and my runner’s pepper spray (thanks to D and mom-in-law… we have coyotes around here), and get to moving.  Finished my run at a pretty good pace, and entered the kitchen, knowing that Mini Me was probably getting hangry at this time.  If you don’t already know this, a hangry three year old is no good.  I am pretty sure that is how wars start.

Enter… Pancakes.  Now, as a quick reminder, Mini Me is allergic to eggs, milk, peanuts, fish, and shellfish.  Baking is constantly difficult, and breakfast foods are one of the most difficult things to work around.  But a few years back, I was lucky enough to stumble across a Banana Oatmeal Pancake recipe from the Colourful Palate.  These have been a lifesaver for me!  I did alter the recipe slightly from theirs, making them less gummy and a bit more toddler approved.

Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

IMG_7344

  • 1.5 cups quick cooking oats
  • 0.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • Mini Chocolate Chips (mine are allergy free)
  • Canola Oil Spray or Coconut Oil (for pan prep)

Directions

  1. IMG_7342Blend all ingredients until combined, except bananas and chocolate chips.
  2. Add bananas and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour batter onto a hot skillet or griddle prepared with spray or coconut oil (I use my electric skillet because I can fit more), and sprinkle chocolate chips onto the pancakes as desired.  Wait until bubbles form in the center of the pancakes and flip to finish.

Recipe will make around 12-15 medium sized pancakes.

IMG_7341        Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

After all was said and done, Mini got her pancakes.

BONUS – these refrigerate and reheat really well for quick grab and go breakfasts during the week!

31,536,000 Seconds

Today marks my one year streak of logging into the fitness and nutrition website, MyFitnessPal.  52 weeks… 365 days… 8,760 hours… 525,600 minutes…  31,536,000 seconds… Committing to my health and fitness.

The Good

 

I started off strong last year, and was given P90X by a friend to help give me a kick start. I ate right (or so I thought), got stronger, and expected to see HUGE results.  I did not.  I believe I only lost 5lbs during that time.  Sure, I lost a couple of inches.  Sure, I was stronger.  But, I was still so new to fitness and nutrition at that point that I didn’t realize that I was actually sabotaging myself with my nutrition.  The important lesson I learned during P90X is that I was strong, I could do it, and I kicked my own ass.

IMG_7134 IMG_4202

I learned I LOVE yoga (even though at the beginning you had to bribe me to do it).

IMG_4656 IMG_6279

I learned that I could do push-ups.  A lot of push-ups.  Push-ups until I fell on my face.  And I learned that I want to kick Tony Horton’s ass and give him a hug at the same time.

After P90X, I was ready for a new challenge. Since I like the flow of P90X, I ventured into another Beachbody program – P90X3.  I was not a fan of this program, to be honest.  I kept with it thru about 60 days.  Meh.

At the same time, I was challenged to start running again.  I despised running.  I would even venture to say that I hated running.  I was not only challenged to start running, I was challenged to run 5 miles.  I had trouble running 1, and felt like I was going to die running 3.  But, what did I do?  I decided (because I don’t like being told I can’t do something) to run a 10K… That’s 6.2 miles.  Yeah.  As soon as it came out of my mouth, I wish I could have taken it back.  So, like a little machine that I sometimes I think I am, I started running.  I started slow using a 10K training app.  Each day was hard.  Really hard.  I pushed thru.  Soon enough, my normal route became too short and I had to explore new routes – running thru the neighborhoods in the early morning hours and sometimes in circles so that I could keep going until the app told me to stop.  There was one morning, around 4.5 miles into my run, that I realized I suddenly LOVED running.  Sure, it was hard.  Sure, I was sore.  Sure, every morning that I woke up I wanted to keep sleeping, BUT when I got into my zone it was just me.  Finishing my runs I felt accomplished.  I felt badass.  I felt like I was becoming the person I knew I could be.  At the end of August I finished my first 10K with a friend I had met on My Fitness Pal.  We had a blast!

IMG_7132       IMG_4016

I also completed a few rounds of the 21 Day Fix in the middle and towards the end of the year.  I recommend this program if you are needing to get moving a bit more – it really does work!

After all the video training programs I did, I decided I wanted to lift heavy.  I wanted to be a badass like so many of the people I have grown to love and call my friends on My Fitness Pal.  I picked up my book that I bought a while back, Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body by Bret Contreras and Kellie Davis (available here).  While I read this book a few years ago, and tried it out, I was nowhere near as experienced with health and fitness as I am now.  I understand what Macros are, and how they work for your body (http://iifym.com), how to have correct form, and why I shouldn’t be afraid to lift heavy weights.  So I started… And I started on the Advanced program.  Yeah me!  I LOVE it.  If you are curious if the program works…Just ask my favorite pair of nice butt jeans.

IMG_6673

The Bad

I’ve been distracted.  Distracted in life, distracted at work, and distracted from my family.  I’ve been caught up in things that don’t really matter in the long run.  I’ve self-sabotaged myself, and am starting 2015 at the same weight that I started 2014 at.  You can make excuses for me all you want, say that you are stronger and smarter, yada yada yada.  I don’t want to hear it.  I don’t want to say that to myself.  I’ve said it enough already.  It really isn’t ok.  The truth is… I know better.  So, as I sat here in tears writing this portion or my post, I sucked it up.  The past is the past.  I’m not going to let myself down this time.  I won’t let myself make excuses.  Sure, I’ve lost over 100lbs at one point.  I’m not at that point.  It doesn’t matter how much I have lost.  It matters where I am going and that I am not going to let myself get in my own way.  There will be no “can’t”, no more comparing myself to others, and no more celebrating the past victories, only my future ones.   This morning I took pictures.  I will be taking pictures every week, and stepping on the scale every Monday.  No excuses.

So, cheers to a new me.  Not a new year.  Every day is a new start.  Don’t wait for a new year to make changes.

Picture1