Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Whole30: Week 2 Update

Hey guys - sorry I've been a little MIA lately. With the holiday weekend, I took some time away to disconnect a little and spend time with Chris. He has been traveling so much lately, so it was nice to have the weekend together! Anyway, I'm back with another Whole30 update! I am currently on day 17 - more than halfway there!! Here's my thoughts on week 2:

How I am feeling: Days 10 and 11 are known to be the hardest (via Whole30 book), and I definitely felt that way. I was over cooking at that point and just kind of in a rut. I didn't feel bad or anything... just blah, I guess. It was the first time I was really wanting a glass of wine (I love to have a glass and listen to music while I's like my therapy, haha!), so that made those few days a little tough.

But I got through it and just as the book describes... I now have "tiger blood!" This is by far the best stage. I am feeling GREAT! I feel 100 times better! I haven't had a headache since the first week and no stomach issues at all. What I've noticed the most though is my skin!! It is seriously the clearest its ever been and just glowing!

What I ate: Throughout this process, I've learned that I cannot make three different recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Nope. No way. That's just too much cooking and too many recipes to follow. So for breakfast this week we ate hard boiled eggs, a banana with almond butter, and sliced avocado. It was nice to take a break from cooking breakfast this week! 

For lunch, I kept it simple by making us Greek salads with chicken or chicken salad with Whole30 approved mayo.

For dinners I made a batch of grain free Italian meatballs to serve over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles with an approved marinara sauce I found at WholeFoods. To use all our veggies up for the week, I made a "veggie hash" one night with potatoes and served it along side grilled chicken - simple and easy! I also made a delicious pot roast found in the Whole30 book.

Weekly tip: Over the weekend, I shared on snap (username: annaleewhite) that Chris and I went on a date night, and I got tons of questions about how I tackle eating out while on Whole30. While it isn't easy to eat out, it's definitely possible.... if you do your research and are willing to ask questions. 

Our go-to when eating out on Whole30 is Mexican because fajitas are a great option! I called around to several places and asked what they cook their fajita mixture in and if it is pre-marinated. Most places cook the mixture in canola oil (which is acceptable while eating out). 

If for some reason it's cooked in something else, just ask them to cook it in canola or olive oil. If the mixture is pre-marinated in something, ask them if you can have meat that has not been marinated. Once you get those two things worked out, you can enjoy the yummy, sizzling mixture! Add a little guacamole and salsa (make sure there is no sugar added) on top and you're good to go!

Weekly trick: No time to make your own mayonnaise, ketchup, and dressings? Don't!! During my first Whole30 last spring, I tried to make my own batch every week and it was exhausting. That was before I discovered Primal Kitchen Whole30 Kit and Tessemae's All Natural Whole30 Pack!!

I cannot tell you what a game changer they are! I absolutely love Primal Kitchen's Greek Dressing! It's so yummy and so nice not to have to worry about making my own dressing for salads for each week. Having approved Whole30 ketchup is also a lifesaver. I don't know about you, but I think ketchup makes everything better! I have it with my baked "fries" and on my hamburgers! If I can't have the bun, I at least want the ketchup.

Let me know if you try any of these products out! It's definitely my trick to making Whole30 possible. I have to have my condiments!

Favorite Recipes: Sweet Potato ChiliCauliflower Rice Bowl, and Bacon and Kale Sweet Potato Hash.

I've loved chatting with you guys about Whole30, and I love that some of you have decided to try it out!! I think it is well worth it in the end. Let me know how you're doing so far, and as always, I'm here if you need anything at all! Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites

Fresh flowers brightening the living room on these gloomy winter days!

"2017 will be a selfish year. My time will be invested on me. On improving myself. I want to become a better person physically and mentally."

Taking care of yourself is so important. That's why this year I am making it one of my top priorities!!

For more inspiration, follow my Pinterest board, Words to Love.

This time of year I always get the wanderlust bug. We have a beach trip planned for late spring, so I'm already looking ahead at resort wear - maxi dresses and swimsuits are what I live in when traveling somewhere tropical! Click below to see some of my favorites I found online this week!

A stunning, yet simple entry way - pulling off minimal and cozy at the same time. 

Visiting the Maldives has always been on bucket list, and it's like Pinterest knows it because pins like this have been all over my feed. Again, the wanderlust bug is strong this week!

I recently ordered a whole kit of DoTerra Essential Oils and this chart has been really helpful on where to apply the oils when needed!

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week! You may have seen on Snapchat (username: annaleewhite) that Chris was out of town all week for work... and that I was soooo ready for him to get home! I stay busy all day, but I'm not going to lie, by night three I was practically talking to the walls!! Anyway, he's back home now and we (Louie and me) are as content as can be! We are having a little date night out tonight (Whole30 approved), and I can't wait! 

Speaking of Whole30, did you catch Monday's post? I gave all the details about the program and why it's worth doing! I'll also be giving weekly updates with tips, tricks, and recipes - you can find week 1 update here. I'll post these every Wednesday and also be answering questions y'all may have! Thanks to those who have already sent questions to me - I'll be addressing those in next week's update! 

What are your weekend plans? Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Whole30: Week 1 Update

In Monday's post, I shared information about Whole30 and what the program is - what you can and can't eat, and why it's worth doing. But I also wanted to give you guys weekly updates as I am completing the Whole30 this month.

You experience a lot of changes throughout the 30 days, all of which the book outlines and talks about in detail, but I wanted to give you a run down of each week from my personal experience, along with tips, tricks and recipes!

How did I feel? Honestly, the first three days were tough. I felt tired and had headaches - but that's because my body was coming off of a sugar high from the foods I was eating before I started... a sugar and bad food hangover I guess you could say! I pushed through it and started to feel normal again by day 4. Since then I have been feeling great - full after meals, sleeping better, and no headaches!

What did I eat? I keep things pretty simple because I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen every week. So I made a batch of egg muffins for us to eat in the morning, usually with some fruit. For lunch, I prepped salads in individual air tight containers. I like to "theme" my salads for the week so I don't get too bored with them. This week, I made taco salads by browning ground beef in homemade taco seasoning (easier than it sounds, I promise), and added toppings like peppers, carrots, radishes, and tomatoes. When ready to eat I added lime juice, avocado, and Tessemae's Southwest Ranch that is Whole30 approved. Next week, I plan on making Greek style salads with chicken. For dinners, I like to make one pot meals that will last a few nights - this week we had chicken potato soup and a pot roast.

Weekly Tip: Before you start, clean out your kitchen!! Get rid of all the foods that are not Whole30 compliant. If you have kids or others in your house that won't be doing Whole30 with you, then put their foods that aren't allowed all in one place (separate shelf of pantry and refrigerator) and tell yourself that those foods are completely off limit for the next 30 days. Since it's just me and Chris in our house (and we are both doing Whole30), I cleaned out our whole kitchen and started with clean slate - this feels good in itself!

Weekly Trick: For a batch of easy hard cooked eggs (which I always keep on hand during Whole30 because they are a great source of protein), try baking them instead of boiling - so much easier!! Find the directions on how to do that here.

Favorite Recipes: Whole30 Pot RoastFish Taco Bowls, and Buffalo Ranch Stuffed Peppers.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about Whole30 and check back next Wednesday for week 2 update! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What Would Your Word Be?

"Hold to these principles: seek simplicity, grasp the essential, overcome selfishness and wasteful desires." 

Usually I set resolutions or goals for myself at the beginning of a new year, but this year I wanted to do something a little different. Resolutions can get so repetitive - eat better, workout more, you know... the usuals. And setting goals for yourself can get a bit overwhelming. It's almost intimidating starting a year with a big list of goals and can make you feel like a failure when you look back at the end of year and see that there were some you didn't complete.

So for 2017 I decided to pick one word to focus on throughout the year. I thought long and hard about this word, evaluating many areas of my life that need improvement and what word could bring those areas to a common ground. I made a list of ways I wanted to change and what things in my life I wanted to change. After staring and praying over the list for a few weeks, the word finally came to me:
I realized that that there were so many distractions in my life keeping me from being the person I want to be and doing the things I want to do. I spent too much time cleaning, organizing, thinking about materialistic things, worrying about my infertility, working non stop on this blog, in front of a screen, saying yes when I wanted to say no, making excuses and just being plain exhausted. Life seemed to be all about going, keeping up, and checking things off a to-do list.

I decided that I wanted to simplify my life and remove all the clutter - the clutter that keeps me from spending time with God on a daily basis, making healthy meals, reading, exercising, taking care of myself, writing, and spending time with Chris.

"Maybe it is God calling a big cosmic time out on me; giving me a chance on a new way of living. This is what I know. I have always been a more is more person and something shifted in me this summer. Something inside me said, "No more!" No more pushing and rushing. No more cold pizza at midnight. No more flights. No more books. No more house-guests. No more of all of these things. Even things I love. Things I long for. Things that make me happy. No more. Only less. Less of everything." - Shauna Niequist, from her book Present Over Perfect

Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. By living simply and experiencing these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, "Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simply focus on the essentials?" Here is a brief outline of how I plan to simplify my life more in 2017:

  • less TV, more reading
  • less clutter, more space
  • less junk, more real food
  • less shopping, more outdoors
  • less rush, more slowness
  • less noise, more solitude
  • less worry, more smiles
  • less work, more play
  • less consuming, more creating
  • less time online, more time with God
  • less focus on the future, more on the present

Did you make any resolutions? If you were picking a word for 2017, what would yours be? I would love to hear! As always, thanks so much for reading.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Why Whole30?

Last week, I mentioned on Instagram and Snapchat (annaleewhite) that I'm doing Whole30. I've gotten a lot of screenshots of the recipes I've shared and several questions about the program, so I wanted to share more about it here on the blog!

If you are at all interested in doing Whole30, then I highly recommend that you order the Whole30 book. It is so helpful because it explains the program, gives tons of tips, and has lots of recipes in it! Of course, you can always visit the Whole30 website or Pinterest to find out anything you need to know about the program, but I find that having the book is really helpful so that all your information is in one place.

So what is Whole30? It's a program that promotes a body reset by putting an "end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system." To do this, you cut out certain food groups for that could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness. You are cutting out "all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food good groups for 30 days." That includes sugars, grains, dairy, and legumes - which also means no added or "fake" sugars, alcohol, and all processed foods. You can see a full list of rules and of what is off limits here.

Please keep in mind that the Whole30 is not just a diet. It wasn't created to be a weight loss program, but rather a body reset and lifestyle change - teaching you about food and how different foods affect your body.

So what can you eat? Real food!! Think meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and good fats from oils, nuts, and seeds. "Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they are totally natural and unprocessed." 

So why do Whole30? A lot of people have the misconception that Whole30 is just this strict, drastic diet for quick weight loss and that all the weight will be gained back as soon as the 30 days are over. As I mentioned before, the Whole30 is not just a diet, so if the only reason you are doing it is to lose weight... then it may not be the right choice for you. While you will more than likely drop some pounds, there are so many other good reasons to complete a Whole30.

"Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-consistent? Do you have aches and pains that can't be explained? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive aliments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn't helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat - even the 'healthy' stuff."

The only way to figure out if (and how) these foods are affecting you is to completely eliminate them from your diet. The program allows your body to heal and recover from those foods that could be having a negative affect on your body and life. Whole30 will change your life - it will change the way you think about food and put you in control of your habits and cravings.

Here are just a few benefits you'll reap from completing a Whole30:
  • You'll sleep longer and more soundly.
  • You'll wake up feeling optimistic and alert.
  • You'll enjoy consistent energy.
  • You'll say goodbye to digestive distress.
  • You'll feel the difference between emotional appetite and real hunger.
  • Your skin will be brighter.
  • Your body image will improve.
  • You'll stop dieting and just eat.
*Most of this information was adapted from the Whole30 official website.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me or you can snap me (annaleewhite). I would love to help in any way I can! This is my second time to do Whole30, and I can say from experience that it does work and that you will feel the best you've ever felt. I will also add that it does take a lot of planning and preparation. I will be sharing more about that and tips to help you succeed in future posts. For the next four weeks, I will be posting a Whole30 update here on the blog every Wednesday - sharing recipes, giving tips, answering questions, and sharing my overall experience with you guys, so let me know if there is something you would like to see! Thanks for reading!

PS. Weekly Meal Prep and Walnut Crusted Pork Tenderloin

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