Today was tough. Not because I was moody or sore, but because I was exhausted.

Last night I went to bed around 11pm and didn’t fall asleep until 4…a…m…

I tossed and turned and sweated and wished and prayed I could just fall asleep for 5 whole hours. So, when the alarm went of at 7am, I was less than thrilled.

When I woke up, I was barely hungry, but I knew I needed to eat, especially after the little I ate yesterday. I ate berries with chia and coconut on the way to the chiropractor (and boy did I appreciate that adjustment) and then headed to work. Once I got to work I realized how hungry I actually was after chatting with my fellow Whole30 co-worker who was noshing on some salami that smelled divine. So, I crushed a package of Applegate turkey bologna and some baby carrots.

That was when I got thirsty. The sodium content of the bologna just made me parched. I drank so much water, and more water, and more water.

Once my thirst had subsided, for lunch I ate salmon, a yellow pepper, an apple, cashew butter, and almond butter.

lunch.

lunch.

After work I had a very productive afternoon. I cleaned. It was amazing how much better and alert and clear it made me feel. I found myself sweating a lot so I drank a few huge glasses of water. Then, I ate a hardboiled egg wrapped in Applegate roast beef before I left to teach yoga.

Now I’ve just finished the left over steak and veggies that I mostly just ate the steak and avocado out of. Not feeling to hungry, but I will be eating a spoonful of almond butter shortly and hitting the hay. I’m hoping that I’ll sleep a heavy, solid sleep tonight since I’m basically sleep deprived.

Well, good night for now, and hopefully tomorrow morning I will be refreshed and well rested.

Today was definitely better than yesterday!

I slept okay. Still woke up sweating and had some tossing and turning, but had a crazy detox dream. In the dream I went to my pediatrician and he was pulling black goo out of my throat. Gross.

The alarm went off at 8:30am. I wanted to give myself more time to hopefully sleep. I woke up and headed to teach yoga. I picked up a black coffee and a banana at Starbucks on the way. (Boy was it weird not ordering a whole milk latte!) I taught my class and then had an impromptu photo shoot, so I wound up burning a ton of calories more than I expected.

I got home and had so much to do I only got to chug a big glass of water and then jumped in the car for a birthday party of a good family friend. I ate some fresh black currants (which were a super special find!) and pistachios on the way along with some original kombucha left over from the other day.

Fresh black currants.

Fresh black currants.

At the party, I ate the crudités (sans the dip) and sipped my kombucha as I watched everyone drink the bubbly, and eat little sausages and cheese and other yummy things wrapped in phyllo dough. Almost the entire party people were asking me why I was doing the Whole30, since clearly I was healthy and didn’t need to lose weight. Isn’t it funny how everyone always assumes you’re changing your diet to lose weight?

After the party I went to do AcroYoga, slack lining, and frisbee in the park. I ate some more black currants, pistachios, and some SeaSnax . Overall, not too many calories for the amount of activity I was doing.

So, why haven’t I been that hungry today??

I’m not sure, but for dinner I’m having chicken livers, beef stock in a mug, and some almond butter for dessert, just to make sure I can get some nutrient dense, high fat animal products along with a few big glasses of water.

This must be the most beautiful, darkest stock I have ever made!! The spoon even stands up in it cold. Awesome.

This must be the most beautiful, darkest stock I have ever made!! The spoon even stands up in it cold. Awesome.

Maybe this lack of appetite and better mood means I will finally sleep better tonight. One can only hope!

Today has been difficult. I was working so I didn’t really get a chance to eat a solid breakfast or lunch, although I did get to munch on some leftovers from yesterday.

It’s mostly been hard because I started getting headaches last night after posting about Day 2. I also woke up at 3 am drenched in sweat. I had been having hot flashes (keep in mind I’m 26, so we’re not talking menopausal… I hope.) the day and night before but hadn’t realized that they might actually be related to the Whole30. But today I’m certain of it. I’ve been having these temperature spikes all day whether its stress induced or just hits me. My hips have also been feeling much tighter and sore than usual.

After experiencing all of these withdrawal symptoms, I started googling and found out about something called the Carb Flu. These flu-like symptoms hit you while your body is transitioning to a strict paleo diet. It can be achey body (check), headaches (check), moodiness (check), shakiness and fatigue (check and double check). I’ve always been very conscious of what I put in my body, so I didn’t think that this transition would be as tough as it has become, but I’m certain that I will get through it and feel better soon. A lot of the posts I’ve seen say that the Carb Flu may last up to two weeks, but once you get through it you feel amazing, so that’s what I’m planning on.

To combat the sugar and carb with drawl I made a sweet potato with coconut butter, ghee, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut flakes, and a touch of sea salt for minerals, along with a GT Original Kombucha, so I’m hoping that these few naturally occurring sugars and starches with help my body chill the eff out!! (There’s that moodiness…)

Baked sweet potato with coconut butter, ghee, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut flakes and a touch of sea salt.

Baked sweet potato with coconut butter, ghee, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut flakes and a touch of sea salt.

I also made chicken liver and onions, both just flavored with salt, pepper, garlic, and ghee for a little extra nutrient dense snack.

Chicken livers and onions sautéed in salt, pepper, garlic, and ghee.

Chicken livers and onions sautéed in salt, pepper, garlic, and ghee.

For dinner I went to a friend’s house. I was sad that I couldn’t partake in their creamy dressed shrimp salad, so they helped me make my own Whole30 kosher salad on the side. Their dressing had homemade mayo (but the mustard had white wine in it) and yoghurt, so that was a no-go. My little salad was so perfect for dinner, though, and I barely missed the glass of white wine along with dinner or chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for dessert.

Shrimp salad with grapefruit, avocado, cherry tomatoes, salted cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, olive oil, and fresh ground pepper.

Shrimp salad with grapefruit, avocado, cherry tomatoes, salted cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, olive oil, and fresh ground pepper.

Now to permit myself a good night sleep and hopefully no waking up sweaty!! Good Night, blog land!

Day 2 was great since I only had my three yoga classes to teach and no work at MOMs, although I did go in for some grocery shopping!

I taught class at 6am this morning and had a meeting with the studio owner right after, so I was lucky to find a few carrots left in my bag from the night before.

When I got home I was starving! Not only had I not eaten, but I had worked my butt off with my students so I’m pretty sure I was down a few hundred calories.

When I got home I was so happy to have my hard boiled eggs ready to go and ate one of those along with the rest of my champagne grapes and some turkey bologna.

After my shower I hit the butcher shop in town. I’d never been before, but I was on a quest for bacon with no sugar and I had heard some good things about this place. When I went in I asked about the bacon, but it all had sugar… So, I asked if he had any pork belly. It was frozen solid in the freezer since he had just gotten it in… No pork for me… Instead I picked up a hanger steak and some chicken livers.

(If anyone knows of any good sugar-free bacon near DC, please let me know!!)

Next, I went to MOMs and picked up some produce. I got lime, cilantro, red onion, red pepper, poblano pepper, cherry tomatoes, crimini mushrooms, and berries. I also picked up some snack time items like flaked coconut and roasted and salted pistachios along with some Whole30 approved Applegate cold cuts and freshly ground Equal Exchange Peruvian Coffee.

The hanger steak rubbed with coconut oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder.

The hanger steak rubbed with coconut oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder.

I have never cooked steak before so this was a bit of an endeavor for me, but ultimately it was super easy and kind of amazing!

First, oiled my pan and steak on both sides with coconut oil and then rubbed the hanger steak with salt, pepper, and chili powder and finished it off with a drizzle of fresh lime juice. Then, around the pan I added a whole poblano pepper to roast, thickly sliced red onion, sliced red pepper, some halved crimini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and crushed garlic cloves.

Pre-broiled.

Pre-broiled.

I wasn’t so sure how long to cook the steak for so I started off with 2 minutes in the broiler (I like my steak very rare), but that did not look nearly long enough so I flipped it and did 5 minutes and then flipped it again for another 5, so 12 minutes all together. For a 1 1/2 inch thick steak, it worked. It turned out perfectly!

I let the steak rest for 10 minutes and then thinly sliced it against the grain. It was beautiful! It was perfect!

Perfectly rare. Yes, you may drool.

Perfectly rare. Yes, you may drool.

After slicing, I mixed the steak back into the fajita veggies, added another fresh squeeze of lime and served it up on the plate with a fresh avocado and garnished it with cilantro. It was bangin’! AND I have enough left over for at least 2 more meals!! Woot!

I remembered the cilantro after the photo, but seriously, how amazing does that look!?

I remembered the cilantro after the photo, but seriously, how amazing does that look!?

For my post-lunch, pre-yoga snack I also devised a delicious berry salad! Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries with chia seeds and coconut flakes. My sweet tooth is 100% satisfied!

Berries with chia seeds and coconut flakes!

Berries with chia seeds and coconut flakes!

I so completely appreciated having more time to cook and eat today! Day 2 was a complete success!! I hope you enjoy these recipes, too!!

Day 1 went really well!

I woke up, had three fried eggs (from our new baby pullets) and crimini mushrooms sautéed in Ghee with rosemary.

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For lunch I more-so snacked. I know that on the Whole30 you’re more supposed to eat three main meals, but with my job, I rarely get the opportunity to sit down to lunch and usually just snack through the lunch hour or whenever I get a chance. I’m going to let this one rule slide simply because my body needs to be used to that since that’s just the way it is. I snacked on baby carrots, raw cashews, and hard boiled eggs.

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Last night we went to see OAR play at Merriweather so I packed a bunch of snacks to get me through the evening, but I found I had already eaten them by the time we got to the lawn to watch the show. I ate seaweed snacks, blueberries, more cashews, and more baby carrots, but by the time we were inside I was STARVING!! I was luckily able to order two burger patties with absolutely nothing on them. The people at the stand were a little confused, but I was so thankful. I didn’t even have time to take a picture of my beef patties for the blog. They were ingested pronto, and I felt so much better.

Side Note: There was a girl at the concert who drank so much she was throwing up and because totally non-responsive and the EMTs took her away on a stretcher. While I hope she is okay, I have never felt better giving up alcohol for the next 30 days 🙂

So, what did I learn from Day 1? Eat more!! Even tho raw veggies and other things are safe, I still need to make sure that I am ingesting sufficient fats to feel satiated.  Bone broth/stock, eggs, meat, they are all super crucial and I need to start eating more of those when I’m hungry.

I made sure I had good food in my fridge before the Whole30 challenge even started!

I had a whole batch of paleo, Whole30 friendly chilli.

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I made a big pot of beef stock.

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And a bunch of hard boiled eggs.

I also stocked up at the store on frozen cuts of fish, seaweed snacks, and coconut milk for coffee.

Tomorrow I am embarking on a new challenge.

I was approached by a co-worker at MOMs Organic Market and she was telling me about a number of people at the store who were going to be taking on the Whole30 diet. As soon as she told me about it, I was in!

Often times I tell people I eat Paleo just because it’s easier than explaining that I don’t eat wheat, soy, and try to eat very little corn.

It all started because my mom (the milk smuggler) did an elimination diet many years back finding that she had a sensitivity to gluten and an allergy to corn.  Many gluten-free products use corn as a substitute for wheat, and just about every processed food in the world has corn in it either as baking powder, corn starch, or that evil (high fructose) corn syrup. This meant that we naturally started eating mostly whole grains like rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and others as our carbs, and basically no processed foods.

When I was younger, I would take advantage of mom being out of town to have pizza with dad, or when I went to college I practically lived on ramen and macaroni. I had some serious acne, weight gain, and other nasty digestive issues arise. Eventually I realized, I needed to eliminate gluten, too.

So this challenge is going to take my gluten-free lifestyle to a whole new level. On the Whole30 diet there are no grains whatsoever, no dairy, no legumes, no additives or preservatives, no sugar in any form (not even stevia), and no nasty oils that start with C or S (besides coconut, which is allowed). I will be eating only meat, fish, eggs, lots of veggies, very little fruit (because, let’s face it, fruit has sugar, too), seeds, nuts, clarified butter or ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, and that’s close to it.

So from August 1st-30th I will be taking on the Whole30 and will keep you updated along the way! I am very excited to see where this takes me in my food journey and how my health improves. Please feel free to ask questions, offer recipes or advice, and maybe even join the challenge yourself!

Here we go!!

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Add some color to your normal routine! Try a familiar vegetable in a new color, like purple potatoes, purple asparagus, golden beets, or many others! It’s the season of brightly colored produce!

Tonight for dinner I accompanied my Mild Italian Sausage from Ayrshire Farms in Upperville, VA with fermented kimchi for probiotics and thinly sliced Purple Potatoes baked in coconut oil, cultured butter, salt and pepper at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Delish!

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“It’s important to remember that everything is connected between the mind and the body. You can eat all that organic food and do all that yoga but if you’re angry or stressed, much of the goodness goes to waste. ”

Kris Carr