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My New Beginning – The Whole 30

iPhone Pics 207Well, it’s safe to say that I’ve backslid quite a bit. I’ve been in California for a year now and I think I basically threw everything I had learned out the window once we got here. We left Germany the first week of June, traveled to Florida and Texas to visit family for the whole month, then arrived in Cali the first week of July. During that month, we were forced to eat things we don’t normally eat mostly because we were not able to cook for ourselves. So, we ate fast food (yuck) and ate whatever was available at families’ homes. It was disastrous.

Fast forward to just a couple of months ago and here I am, I’ve crept up about 9 pounds (I initially lost most of the 15 pounds I had gained during the month of June once we got back to cooking our own foods) and I’ve started to have trouble with GERD again. It began with coughing after I eat. I knew something was not right.

The acid reflux got really bad again and I was feeling pretty miserable. I knew it was time to go back to the doctor to address my digestive issues, including the hiatal hernia I did not have corrected while in Germany. Bummer.

Of course, the first thing my doctor tells me is, “I need to put you back on the Nexium.” I was heart-broken. I’ve been off of that stuff for two years and really fought hard to not have to do it. But in the end, I conceded. And of course,  I’m also being referred to a brand new gastroenterologist. Sigh.

PaleoBookI had read not too long ago about a program called Whole30. If you aren’t familiar with the Paleo diet, then this will be a real eye-opener. I’ve been dabbling in the Paleo diet/lifestyle for several months and have really noticed some differences when I’m doing it right. It’s been an amazing discovery for me. I’ve learned a lot from the book, The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, Phd. You can find it here.

I’ve also been following some awesome blogs on the Paleo diet.  I found blogs like Mark’s Daily Apple, and Rob Wolff. I love to look up recipes by typing in “Paleo diet” or “Paleo (insert food item here) recipe” and tons of recipes pop up! I’ve discovered awesome sites like Nom Nom Paleo and Melissa Joulwan’s awesome site full of the coolest recipes. And in the process of all this searching, I discovered The Whole 9 Life. This site, created by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, is devoted to an extreme Paleo life. They began with a 30 day program to “reset” the body. They decided one day to make some serious, lasting changes in their diet and overall health and set about following a strict regimen for 30 days. Their results were so amazing, they began to share what they did with others. Soon, they had their website up and running and tons of folks they had helped change their lives for the better supporting them.iPhone Pics 1174

The plan is simple – eat whole, fresh foods from sustainable sources. Heal your body and give it a “do-over.” Feel better. Simple. Of course, the plan is simple, but not easy. You don’t just choose better foods, you also have to eliminate those things that damage your body.

That’s the most important part.

You must, for at least 30 days, make sure not to have any of the following:

  1. Sugar
  2. Alcohol (there’s my two demons right at the top of the list!)
  3. Grains
  4. Legumes
  5. Dairy (ghee is the only exception)
  6. Anything containing carageenan, sulfites, or MSG (you can also add nitrites and nitrates if you’re really serious.)
  7. White potatoes

I just started on my Whole30 journey a little over a week ago. I’m only on day 10. But I have to say, it’s been an awakening. And it’s been wonderful!

iPhone Pics 1190My vices have always been my downfall. Wine and chocolate. They’re my little demons that call my name most every night. But once I started on my Whole30 I turned them off. I thought it would be hard. And it was for the first couple of days, but then it wasn’t. I had a headache from day 2 to day 5, but on day 6 it was gone. I felt almost euphoric. What a wonderful sensation.

The food has really been the best part.iPhone Pics 1170

I have dropped a few pounds since I started (even though I know I’m not supposed to get on the scale. The Whole30 is about so much more than losing weight, after all.) But that’s not the best part. I’ve noticed that my foods taste better. I’ve stopped craving things. Period. Everything. I feel stronger during my crazy Insanity workouts with Shaun T. yelling at me to “push through.” My mind feels less foggy. I feel less lethargic. My energy levels are way up. I get more done during my day. I’m definitely more productive since I started.

What I’m really getting at is I love the way I’m feeling these days since starting the Whole30 plan. I feel “cleaner” on the inside. And I don’t want to stop at day 30.

I have my first gastro appt in years coming up on September 9 and I want to keep this going until then. I’m curious to see just how much good I can do for my body before I get to my new specialist. I know I’m probably going to have to have the surgery to correct my hernia, but at least I can give my body a chance to heal faster and feel better. And of course, I want to guarantee that the fix with stay put.

So, to ensure my success on all fronts, this may just become a new way of life for me. After my first 30 days, I’ll probably go celebrate with a glass of wine or two, but maybe by then I won’t want it as much. I certainly have realized that I don’t like the way I feel when I drink more than just a little. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it really made until I stopped it altogether.

So, here’s to a whole new me. I’m definitely on a good path and plan to stick with it for as long as I can. I really feel like this is a true “do-over” for my whole body, for all the years I put bad things in and damaged my insides. I’m hoping to really heal myself, physically and mentally, from all the years of living I did before I hit 40. (Yeah, that’s a scary number, huh?)

I’m off and running and nothing’s holding me back. I’m winning!


To a happier, healthier and longer life.


Day 14: The Art of Distraction

Today was a day of distraction. My husband and I sat around for a good deal of time rearranging our fantasy football teams – dropping and picking up players, posing trades, reading all the latest reports and such. Before I knew it, we had sat on our respective laptops for four hours. And I had forgotten to eat! Again!

I made sure to feed the two of us pretty well that morning with eggs, leftover ham chops and some apples and pears mixed with Greek yogurt. That apparently kept my body occupied until it was nearly time to pick up Aiden from school.

The evening was destined to be long and tedious. I had to leave the boys on their own to help our success team run a focus group. Denny made spaghetti with meat sauce for him and Aiden, while I had to sit face to face with pizza. The group provided free pizza to all the participants and there was an abundance of this evil pie.

The meeting ran long…very long. And my stomach was beginning to get rather angry. So, I appeased it! I grabbed a few slices of pizza and ate the toppings! Only the toppings. And I trashed the crust. It worked nicely. Hunger was abated and I was nearly done with my meeting.

Once I got home, Aiden was already in bed and Daddy was reading stories. I got home just in time to give him a kiss good-night. Good times.

Today marked the end of the first two weeks on the program. Oddly, I was not hungry even though Denny fixed some sausages for me to eat when I got home. But I did feel like I had made a huge accomplishment – I made it through the tough part. Yes.

Denny, because he knows me so well, opened a bottle of wine. We relaxed with a little television and some lovely German wine. It was a good day and I can’t wait to see how the process turns out in the morning.

To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Day 10: Feeling Comfortable in My Skin

Sometimes it’s just necessary to have a “lounge” day. That’s just what today was. Denny and I stayed in our pajamas until around 3pm. And we just chilled and did a whole lot of nothing. It felt wrong and so, so right at the same time.

The trouble that I have here is the weather. It’s typically cloudy, cold and rainy or drizzling. I just have a really hard time getting motivated to do anything when every day looks that way. It’s starting to get dark as early as 4pm already. My body just doesn’t like that too much.

But today, lounging around with my husband, I didn’t allow myself to feel guilty about it. I knew we had plans for later so we could indulge in our laziness without repercussions. What a great feeling that was.

Looking pretty stylish for McDonald's

As the day grew dark, we actually had a birthday party to go to and had to retire our pajamas for actual pants and shoes. No big deal. We got dressed and headed out…into the dark.

Our party convened at the local McDonald’s. Yes, I was back at the same McDonald’s I visited just days ago for lunch with Aiden‘s teacher. We were back again, this time invited by one of Aiden’s friend’s mom. A birthday party for a bunch of five-year-olds. Good times.

The best part is we ended up leaving after a bit and met up at one of the parent’s house. Denny had to go do his DJ thing (his usual Saturday night gig) but I had no plans and felt free to ride the wave. These moms, who were very close to each other, were offering exciting, fun and interesting conversation. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Sans wine!

The conversation ebbed and flowed through hours upon hours and the kiddos were going full force in intense play for the duration. It was so nice and relaxing to sit, laugh and commiserate with grown-ups again. It’s been a while since I was really free to indulge. In fact, I haven’t had many occasions (or people) when I could really do that. These moments are few and far between. Tonight was a rare treat.

Aiden - "Birthday cake's not healthy, but it's okay!"

The best part for me is that I felt comfortable. I wasn’t secretly in my head trying to figure out a graceful exit so I could get home and get out of my restrictive clothing because I was uncomfortable. I was feeling good and healthy. I was laughing openly, smiling freely, talking incessantly, and enjoying the way I felt. I didn’t need to have a glass or two of wine to relax. I was already there. I felt young and vibrant.

I came home around midnight. I was afraid if I stayed any longer I would get too tired to drive home. I got to the house, put Aiden to bed (he was completely worn out) and got into my pajamas again. I was renewed a bit and decided to have a couple of glasses of wine and wait up for Denny. Yes, I always do enjoy my wine, but it was exceptionally sweet tonight. What a treat!

When Denny did finally get home, he sat down and had a couple of glasses with me and we stayed up chatting until 4am. For such a lethargic start to our day, it sure ended up on an interesting note. We’ll see how tomorrow ends up with our limited amount of sleep tonight. 😉

To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Twinkie Diet?? « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

I couldn’t resist re-posting this! I can’t believe that people actually still hold any stock in crazy diets like this one. But thanks to an iron-stomached professor, we can see the results without having to undergo the actual torturous application of such an insane program!

Twinkie Diet?? « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

Happy Tuesday!! How’s everyone doing on this lovely, dreary, snowy day? ;)

So yesterday afternoon, a co-worker of mine brought an article to my attention that I immediately had to check out; as soon as I read it, I thought it would be rather interesting to share with all of you this morning…

Turns out, there is a man who decided to follow a 10-week diet that consisted mainly of this stuff:

Yes my friends, that is Twinkies.

Instead of eating regular meals, Mark Haub, a professor at Kansas State University, ate snacks consisting of Twinkies, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, and other convenience store “treats” every three hours.

Read the full article here.

I still can’t believe the results. He lost 27 lbs in just two months!

So, now my question to you is:

How many fad, crazy diets have you tried in the past?

(I’m very guilty of this…I think I’ve tried nearly every one that ever came out!) Post your stories in the comments! I can’t wait to read them!

To a healthier, happier and longer life!

Twinkie Diet?? « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

Day 6: What Does ‘Detox’ Feel Like?

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t really feel bad. I could feel the dull pain in the back of my head and neck. So, I knew I would be contending with that for most of the day. But my spirits were quickly lifted when I stepped on the scale – down 2 lbs! Wow! Very cool…

By the time I got downstairs, though, I was freakin’ starving!! I was practically doubled over from hunger pangs! What in the world? So, I quickly reached for a little cottage cheese cup to abate the awful feeling in my gut. It worked, thankfully, until I was able to get a proper breakfast. I have learned my lesson: no more days when I eat more carbs than protein! That does not do my body good!

But the headache had come back…full strength. I could feel I was in complete detox mode.  I kept wondering if it was from sugar, starches or alcohol or was it from my allergies? It could be any of them. Hard to pinpoint…and maybe it is because of ALL of them. All I know is I sure didn’t feel much like doing anything. But, life keeps going…

I came back from taking Aiden to school and made me a nice veggie-egg scramble for breakfast. Once I ate that my body seemed to want to ‘thank’ me. I started to feel tons better! Seriously.

The headache subsided and my energy shot up. I stayed satiated for hours and forgot to eat a snack.  I looked up and it was 1:00pm…four hours since I made my breakfast. I was actually hungry then so I made a pork steak with applesauce for lunch. It was perfect and hit the spot just right.

The rest of the day went by so fast. I had a volunteer group meeting and got home around 5:30pm. My husband wasn’t feeling much like eating a big meal so I didn’t cook. He (being the Carb Type that I suspect he is) was feeling cereal for dinner. I popped some rolls in the oven for him and some bacon-wrapped scallops in for me. He ended up eating 3 rolls and a bowl of Kashi cereal for dinner…something that I will never do again! I ate 6 scallops (wrapped in lovely bacon) along with some applesauce. Later I munched on some dry roasted cashews. Perfect!

And I still had lots of energy. I wasn’t falling out, splayed all over the couch like I normally would be in the evening hours. Usually Denny needs to coax me to exercise…he’s definitely a night owl where I am definitely not. So, when we have exercise planned, typically it’s me trying to get around it and he brings me back. But not tonight. Denny was the one who was head-bobbing in his chair before 7pm. I asked if exercise was still on the agenda, but I was met with sad puppy eyes, pleading with them to ‘have mercy.’

It’s not all his fault…he’s been having to get up extra early (against his natural rhythm) and be at work an hour earlier. He’s really not fond of early morning hours. If he had a job that required him to work into the late evening hours as opposed to the early morning, he’d be a much happier man. So, understandably, he’s been very tired when he gets home from work lately. And we didn’t get in our exercise…again.

Stevia powder is up to 300x sweeter than natural sugar and doesn't affect blood glucose levels.

I did get my Stevia in the mail, though. I made myself a couple of cups of hot tea and added the Stevia…and it was nice.  I had ordered the “intro” pack that included a bottle of Stevia and a bag of Fructevia (for baking) to get me started.  Last night after Denny brought it home, I tried a glass of ice tea (I had a small pitcher already made in the fridge) using the Stevia and only used about a third of a teaspoon. But oh my gawd, it was way too much! I couldn’t drink it and had to pour it out. That stuff is strong. So, I learned very quickly that Stevia cannot be used the same as sugar or even Splenda. So, when I made hot tea today I used a lot, lot less and it was perfect. Very nice. I think we are going to get along just fine.

And how about those 2 lbs I lost? Hehehe!

To a healthier, happier and longer life.