It starts from within…

Over the several months I have been struggling with thinking positively and celebrating the success that I have achieved. After a conversation with a friend I realized that my new mantua needs to be it starts from within. It starts with my attitude about myself. Compliments from others are awesome but to truly be happy I need to feel it. Many friends lately have complimented me and have helped bring me back to noticing my hard work is paying off and have been helpful putting me in check. But I need feel it. I need to believe it. I am now on a journey if changing my thinking to be more positive and it starts with my mantra.

This also goes along with celebrating the small steps. I do have many small steps to celebrate. Recently I went shopping and bought clothes two sizes smaller. Yes. You read that right. Two sizes! I can look in the mirror and think hey that girl looking back has got style. Well some days! We all have our moments. I RX’d my first WOD. For those non-crossfiters out there – I was able to do the prescribed weight and movements without any scaling. Wahoo!! Wait. I think there are several more too. That does tell me it has been too long for my update and post.

I have kept to a very paleo life style. Some days are more whole 30 and have developed a comfort with cooking and knowing what to eat. There is always more to learn.

Short post. I need to go and say my mantra over in my head a few times.

What have you tried? Any celebrations?



A second whole 30 almost done…wait where did the time go?

Well 20+ days into my second whole 30.  WOW.  This time I had new challenges that I didn’t pay attention to the first time.  Eating out.  Something I used to do 3-4 times a week prior to changing my eating and during the first whole 30 I think I only ate out one time.  This time it seemed it was unavoidable.  What I mean by that is events came up and dinner dates were important to keep which posed the challenge of eating out and not knowing truly exactly what was on the food I was eating.  I probably haven’t been as strict with this whole 30 as last time but I truly believe that the choices I made were the best ones I could and I feel proud of that!  So some tips to pass on.

1) I tried to choose the restaurant that I knew I could be successful with.  It is nails on chalkboard for me when I hear people say you choose the restaurant cause you are the picky eater or have special things to worry about.  AGH!  I had to take in those comments and just say yup, I do choose to eat differently and it is okay.  So getting to choose the restaurant can work in your favor.  For me it is I don’t want to make it about me  and I consider other peoples choices so it does cause me anxiety to have to make the decision for everyone.  I work on being okay with it and make me first when others decide they don’t care.  I researched menus and looked for restaurants that are farm to table, know that they don’t mind me altering the menu, and have higher quality meats.  I mean every place I can make work but if I am going to be given a choice then I might as well have some things to think about when looking for one that will work.

2) At the restaurants I asked questions.  Lots of questions.  What is the meat marinated with? How is the meat cooked? What seasonings do you use?  I asked for a gluten free menu. I made sure to ask for grilled items with no seasoning, steamed veggies or salads.

3)You have to be confident in your choices and feel good about them. This ultimately needs to be very important for me.  I can’t beat myself up for maybe not asking for something or forgetting to get the dressing on the side or to ask what kind of oil they use to cook their food.  I ate it, I moved on, and I learned from my experience.  I had to take comfort in knowing that the rest of the week I would be able to control the food and what I ate when I cooked and I did the best I could.

So although the best choice is to make all my food, this time around I accepted eating out as an option and did the best I could.  It’s real life and if I am going to make this work, then I need to be able to adapt my eating choices to fit all of my situations.

This month I was in charge of my cooking club menu.  Have I told you how my cooking club has changed my life in such a positive way?  Well- there is so much I could say.  But I feel the most important is the way I was able to join these girls and how they accepted each stage of my food journey and help guide me in a positive way to try new things.  They let me discover what I wanted to change and do.  Surrounding yourself with people that have similar beliefs and goals makes things run a little bit smoother.

I want to share with you some recipes that were on my menu.  There was so many delicious ones that I want everyone to try them!!! I took all my favorite foods from my early 30’s and looked for a healthy version of them.  Healthy is such a widely used term.  I should say I tried to make them Whole 30 approved! 🙂 I linked each word to the blog (website) for you to find the recipe.  Make one of them…delicious!


Zucchini Chips with Quacamole

I love Guacamole.  Actually ketchup used to be my favorite and might still be, but I use quac for most things now. The Zucchini chips (from Dinner- mom Blog) get really small and weren’t as crispy and I was hoping but still delicious. The quacamole recipe (from allrecipes) is the closest I could find to my own personal creation.  I would use a lot less salt then what this recipe calls for!


Prosciutto fig and pistachio salad with a vinaigrette dressing

I could eat a salad for every meal!   This is one of my favorite web sites.  This is from the author of Primal Cravings. I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone considering Paleo as a way of eating.  It doesn’t have many whole 30 recipes but many Paleo that are fabulous.  Or just check out her website weekly for her updates.  YUMMY! This salad has delicious salad dressing and I absolutely loved the pistachios and crispy prosciutto.  I have it planned for several meals this week!

Main Dishes

Pizza reinvented and a new take on Turkey Meatballs

I consider myself a pizza connoisseur.  Yes my friends find places for us to try the pizza when we travel cause they know how much I love to eat pizza! They find it funny how I can analyze a pizza.  I feel it is all about the sauce but now that I have changed the way I eat, it is finding a good crust with a balance of toppings. This pizza recipe I got from paleomg and my friend Krissy changed it up a bit and made this awesome version she brought to cooking club.  I linked her version from her blog. You won’t be disappointed!  Meatballs (recipe from Paleomg).  OMG, life would not be complete without meatballs.  I eat them every other week, so finding different recipes to use is ideal!  The Italian side of me just loves a good meatball! My husband said you could eat these just as a snack with no sauce.  I agree!  You could use these as an appetizer!


Peanut Butter Balls

Okay.. dessert is not whole 30.  But for cooking club you make one for those not following to try and to save for when whole 30 is finished! So yummy.  Peanut butter and chocolate! Everyone must love a good peanut butter and chocolate recipe.  This is the healthy way of looking at this dessert and oh boy so yummy!

Lastly I want to share with you some exciting news that in a few months might benefit you in a way.  I am taking my cookbook virtual.  I found an app that lets me enter all of my recipes in it.  Personal recipes as well as recipes I get from blogs and cookbooks. My goal is to be able to share my recipes with others easier and not have you have to print out anything.

I hope you get a chance to try a recipe.  If you do, let me know how it went.

Day 7, Inches lost, and a New Recipe… Oh My!

My husband and I made it a week with our second whole 30.  WAHOO!  A few exciting things to celebrate.

I have found a new great kitchen tool.  Scissors.  I absolutely hate to cut chicken up.  I have noticed that the organic chicken doesn’t have as much yucky stuff to cut off of it, but the other night I made fajitas and I used the scissors for this.  It was so easy! I have a new kitchen tool! YAY!

Last week I had many delays for school (I am a teacher) and this weekend I celebrated my small victory of still going to the gym instead of sleeping in.  I am super proud of myself.  YIPPEE!  Now don’t get me wrong.  By Friday my body was feeling that I haven’t mastered the art of getting to bed early and needed to catch up on my sleep.  I got to the box 5 times last week.

Today I also went to try a yoga class.  I have been wanting to try this and a very dear friend of mine at school asked me to join her to her weekly class.  I did.  Wow!  What a great stretch and boy did I see how tight many of my muscles are.  I also was very proud of how strong I was with some of the movements.  I felt like many of them I was able to do because of all the new strength I have gained from CrossFit.  I will go back and try to make this a weekly goal every Sunday.  But remember how I am starting small, so I will set a goal for once a month in hopes that I easily pass this goal.

I am excited to say we made it 7 days so far in our second whole 30.  I have found it difficult to give up the chocolate that I had started to consume maybe daily over the holidays.  It truly was a mental game.  I didn’t need it but I craved it.  This has been a hard thing this week. I know this week it will get easier but it still tells me that I still battle the sugar dragon and how easily it can creep back into my daily habits.

The measurements are in. I am writing this all down I see how much I have accomplished this week.  I also know about 4 other topics I could write about but realize it might have to be my next post.  So I finally had the courage to have my mom take my measurements on Thursday.  I had my husband take them mid August and then my mom did them October 27th and my mom did it again on Jan 9th.  So….. drum roll!! It is about 19 inches give or take several inches that I have lost all over my body.  So I say give or take because when my husband first did them we were not exact on the location and then my mom and I tried to find the spot he did.  We got better at saying 5 inches above the knee and 3 inches above the elbow for example.  🙂 But anyway.. 2 sizes down and many inches all over the body have now disappeared.  WAHOO!!! This probably deserved its own post but I have too much to share. 🙂

I am super proud of my husband.  Today he celebrated his birthday with his family and they had an ice cream cake.  It is his favorite thing of all, ice cream!  He didn’t have any.  I know this was a mental challenge for him that he did such a great job with.  I decided to make him an apple crisp for his birthday on Wednesday but was having a hard time coming up with a recipe that didn’t have almond flour or coconut flour for the topping.  I decided to modify a few and put them together to make this granola. On Wednesday I will put it on top of some cut up apples with some lemon and cinnamon on the apples, and put it in the oven.  I just already know it will be delicious. I am really excited about it.  For many of you who know who I am, this is a whole new step for me to combine some recipes and make it my own. For those of you who do eat yogurt, this would be an awesome addition to any type of yogurt or even oatmeal.

Here it is.   I think I could call it Apple Crumble or Apple Granola… or My First Creation!

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
9 medjool dates, chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1  – 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (I like a lot of cinnamon)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I feel you could add more…  I just love this)

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add nuts, dates, and unsweetened shredded coconut a food processor and pulse to slightly chop nuts.  I pulsed 7 times. Add spices and salt and pulse again to evenly distribute. I pulsed for another 7 times.

Next add the applesauce, oil, and vanilla extract to the food processor with the mixture.  I pulsed till it was combined.

Evenly distribute granola (using fingers) on prepared baking sheet. It will be really sticky.

Place in oven for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.  Stir ingredients halfway through the baking so the edges do not get over brown.  When you do this you will start to see it turn more like granola.

Let the granola cool on the pan and then put it in a Tupperware container.  I am not sure how long it will last and stay crispy.  I just made it tonight! 🙂

I hope you all are celebrating your small changes.  If you haven’t made any start this week.  Don’t be upset of what you haven’t done and should have put the energy into your future and make that small change. 🙂

A second whole 30 starts … Should be easier this time, right?

My husband and I decided to get back to our whole 30 eating by joining some friends at the box while they also start a whole 30 journey. Today was day 1. It was successful and tricky.

I got a vitamix for my birthday and decided to do some green juice that a friend of mine would rave about to cure just about anything. Over the past week I have had some sinus pressure and headache. A few friends have said it was cause of my eating habits not being the best, but my allergist said I have sinus fluid but no infection. Okay. So it made me wonder. I decided to make the green juice (kale, parsley, mint, cucumber, green apple) it was from (Don’t start about the name of the website-it is all about clean eating!) it tastes really good and boy did I want to drink the whole batch! That was the tricky part. 🙂

My husband and I have decided to eat more veggies this time. Well, I decided we needed to do that. I was talking to a friend right after my first whole 30 and she made a comment that something she tries to do is to always have a side veggie in addition to any veggies that are already in your main dish. So tonight we had stuffed peppers. I put lean beef, sausage, onions, and tomatoes in a pepper. It was delish! I also added a side salad. I wouldn’t have done this last time, I would have just counted the peppers as the veggie. We will see how it goes.

I am thankful for my crossfit whole 30 family that are also on this journey. A supper group is so important! Especially with sharing recipes. Sometimes you just don’t have the ideas make your meals in the week different then last week.

How are your small goals going! I celebrated that I got up Friday morning at 6 to go to the 7 am crossfit! It was a vacation day for me and we had gotten some snow/ ice the day before so my car required some scraping. That was a victory. Just getting there sometimes is all the victory you need to have for the day. I foresee this happening again to me tomorrow. 5 am alarm for 6 am class before the first day back at work in two weeks. If anyone has any ideas for a new career path for a teacher of 14 years with a masters degree, please do let me know! If anyone can help me get a whole30/paleo cooking show let me know! I think it is something we are in need of. 🙂

Remember celebrate those small goals and just change one thing this week. What will you change?

Small steps could be your 2014 change

Today is the day many people set out to create a resolution for the new year. I too have done one for the past three years and actually kept them. Many other years though, they were often forgotten or I talked myself out of ever being able to accomplish it. Three years ago I decided to read for pleasure 10 minutes a night and that one was a success. From there I started to see that my resolutions needed to be something I really was determined to accomplish. But isn’t that something we always feel and then our self talk often though provided us a way out of it. This year I pose a new way of looking at your resolution.

As I reflected on the first 6 months of my journey I realized that the small steps toward my big goal were the hardest. The mini steps are the ones you talk yourself out of. So I think this year I will make a resolution that supports and celebrates the small steps I make toward my goals. It also is important for me to set a time frame that is doable. Once a month I am going to make and celebrate a small step toward achieving my goal.

You might be asking what small steps might I refer to. Well, maybe it is getting to the gym 4 times a week instead of my usual 3. That way I have several weeks to get it right in the month. Or maybe it is trying 2 new recipes each month. Another might be just taking my measurements or stepping on the scale instead of talking myself out of it because I am scared of what the results will be despite my hard work I have put in.

Celebrating. Now that is important. But my celebrating needs to be positive. Maybe it is just a positive mantra that I say to myself all day or spending time with my dog. (If you know me spending time with Chesapeake, my yellow lab, is the greatest thing for me) Or maybe it is putting stars on my calendar. One of my good friends has helped me celebrate several accomplishments over the past 6 months by going on a walk with friends, doing birthday Burpees with me, or Burpees for every pound I have lost.

So I leave you with an idea. Make your resolution doable, positive, BUT small! Small steps are the important ones. Enough small steps and you will get to that big one! So, what is your first small step?

The 30 days began.. it wasn’t going to be that long, right?

During the first week of the 30 days I found myself heading to the grocery store 3 times and spending half my day in the kitchen.  I had a new appreciation for housewives of the early days.  I felt like I was always chopping and washing fruit and veggies.  The second week I got smarter.  My  husband and I planned out our meals for the week.  You might be wondering where did I get all the recipes.  BLOGS and websites.  I found other people eating Whole 30 and I started trying out new recipes.  Now if you have known me, you might realize that this is the week I took myself out of my food box.  I had very limited tastes and didn’t like many combinations of foods.  I had to venture out if it was going to work.  So I found 4 new recipes and made a grocery list.  The book calls for many organic veggies and beef.  We did some of each.  We found that we were eating a great deal amount of meat to help with the cravings.  Three meals a day with no snacks.  The fruit at the end of each meal really helped.  

The second week ended feeling much more successful.  Work had started and in September the life of a school teacher, well let’s say is just school!  So I was still spending way more time in the kitchen then wanted.  In the third week I realized that if I did my prep work of the veggies and things mixed in my recipes on Sunday then it would just be ready.  This helped out a great deal!  I also made my guacamole and salsa on Sunday and used it all week on my eggs.  It really helped make eating eggs much more tolerable.  By the end of the second week I was discovering that food was having so much flavor.  There were foods that I just loved and they tasted so good!  I wasn’t missing eating out but I was missing the social aspect.  I started keeping track of the days left.  

But as the days went by I started doing more research for recipes and trying more great new foods for me.  I loved the food.  I also found that there would be restaurants that shared the same beliefs I was developing and could make smart choices when the 30 days were done.

I didn’t really have any cravings and I didn’t have any of the headaches my husband got.  I think it helped that I cut out soda several months before.  I did find a new appreciation for seltzer and now can’t think of even picking up a soda.  By Day 20-22 my husband and I decided why would we want to stop eating this way.  We were feeling so much better, we had more energy, and I didn’t need snacks.  

So when the 30 days came to an end, we didn’t stop.  We continued eating this way several months later.  We did do the introductory phase where you add back in dairy.  We decided that cheese on occasion was cool with us.  I also put some half in half in my coffee.  Not alot, just enough.  When the holidays came we did enjoy some paleo treats.  Chocolate seemed to be an important add in every now and then.

AS the new year approaches we are going back with the whole 30 with a meal or two a week that is more paleo.  We just feel better.  After eating a few meals at relatives that were not paleo or whole 30 you can totally tell the toll it takes on your body.  My stomach will hurt, the bathroom is a frequent visit after a meal, headaches, and shakes can even happen.  It just makes us feel crummy.  

So have you tried something different?  Maybe this will inspire you to try a new food, new recipe, or a new way of eating.  Need help, need inspiration?  Just ask.  I would love to help!

6 Months

6 Months

Finally reaching 25 pounds of a loss deserves it’s own post! 6 months of crossfit and 4 months of clean eating. I feel proud but yet think I hope the next 25 comes off even faster.

Don’t we always have that in the back of our mind. We accomplish this and hope to do even greater things in the future. Always seeking for something more. So as I am writing this blog, I am trying to just live and feel accomplished with this milestone. Looking back and changing my eating and workouts all in 6 months. WOW!

That’s all I am going to say.. WOW! I did it, and I know anyone reading this can to!