It starts with food..

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The day after labor day last year is when I began the Whole30 program for the first time. I was new to the whole paleo thing. Going from an intense 15 day juice cleanse in December to a mostly vegetarian diet for the 8 months after with constant roller coaster of ups and downs with my battle with food. I was working out a lot, running and still not seeing the results I wanted. Sure I was lean, but were was the muscle and tone from 8 months of running and lifting?! The whole30 opened my eyes to food in a way i’d never thought about it before. Watching and feeling my body transform from eating clean whole foods for 30 days was one of the most rewarding and beneficial things I’ve ever done for myself. So fast forward 8 months later and I’ve maintained a mostly paleo diet. Doing the whole30 changed the way I thought about food and made it more natural to just cook whole clean foods, but the sugar demon is still there, the roller coaster of good food/bad food decisions are still at war and I can feel when my body is not burning fuel from fat, but from the nasty sugars that I just “had” to have that day.

I decided it was time to do the whole30 program again. Remind myself why I choose paleo over sandwiches or cookies and I thought it would also be good to re-read “It Starts With Food” since I’m more familiar and can relate more now then when I first read it. I love Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and I think there book and there program is such a life-changing experience. It really is true what a difference eating whole foods can do to you. As I was sitting on the bus on my way home, reading the book, I thought for one second what the bus would feel like if every single person on the bus was doing the whole30 program together and what a difference the bus ride home would be. I laughed and pushed the thought away and got back to the book.

So this week I’m doing what I’m calling the pre-season or warm up. Since for every great sport or run, in order to succeed and have a good year, you need to warm up, practice and a test run. I’m reading the book as a part of my warm-up, stocking my pantry with only whole30 approved foods, meal planning for the weeks to come, checking my schedule and making sure not to schedule anything that involves non-whole30 approved activities and just simply getting my mind and body ready for the challenge. So there isn’t any excuse to fail. I’m also test running, by doing my absolute best to eat 100% paleo. I made it all of Monday and failed today by eating 2 small bites of a oatmeal-cranberry raisin cookie that a co-worker had. And yes it was delicious, but in the end not worth it-but a great reminder for the next time my brain decides it thinks a cookie is a good idea. I will begin the whole30 program officially next Tuesday, June 28th.

I’m excited to see the changes both mentally and physically and see how it improves my fitness and running as I approach the beginning of my marathon training and my 2nd half marathon of the year.

Whole30 is a great program with really high success rates. I highly recommend you check it out and join me on this challenge. I will give weekly updates on how I’m doing and try and remember to post new recipes that I try along the way.

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Paleo Burgers, Running and Leg Circuit work out!

The weather here just keeps on improving and by the end of the week it’s supposed to be in the 80s.. what SEATTE?!

Sunny weather makes me only want to use my BBQ! and even though it’s still isn’t hot out, I would much rather take advantage of the sunny evenings then be stuck in the kitchen.

Last nights dinner was inspired by paleoOMG, I absolutely love her site and reference it daily.

BRING ON… PALEO Chile-Cilantro Burgers with Grilled Pineapple, Red Bell Peppers, Onions, and Avocado Cream with Charred Broccoli and Grilled Chile-Lime Sweet Potato Wedges!

My Ingredients: Organic Beef, Garlic, Cilantro, Pineapple(yes i was too lazy to cut my own), Avocado, Lime, Bell Pepper, Sweet Potato - Not shown: chile powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, olive oil, sriracha, cinnamon, cumin

My Ingredients: Organic Beef, Garlic, Cilantro, Pineapple(yes i was too lazy to cut my own), Avocado, Lime, Bell Pepper, Sweet Potato – Not shown: chile powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, olive oil, sriracha, cinnamon, cumin

The finished product, so delicious and so paleo!

The finished product, so delicious and so paleo!

To get my 75 squats done yesterday I decided to break them up and do them in a circuit with other exercises.

25, 20, 15, 10, 5 – leg press (adding weight each round)
15, 15, 15, 15, 15 – assisted barbell squats with 90lbs (75 total!)
10, 10, 10, 10, 10 – barbell deadlifts

I also did a 2nd circuit for calves and abs
50, 40, 30, 20,10 seated incline calf raises, increasing weight each round
25, 25, 25, 25, 25 incline reverse crunches for the first 3 rounds and hanging vertical crunches for the last 2 rounds
and then finished with 5 sets of 15 alternating abductor/adductor machine

Was a quick but deadly 45 min work out and my hips and hamstrings are the most sore.

This morning was a run day so I started with a warm up of 80 squats broken up into 20 different types of squats (narrow, wide, barbell, seated) and then 3 sets of 15 of the abductor/adductor machine and then 4.5 mile run outside with negative splits. Started around 8:50 for the first 2.5 miles and then increased my speed to 7:50 for the last 1.5 miles.

Tomorrow is a busy day. I have my trainer in the morning for strength and then going to a wednesday night track workout (5 x 1000meters alternating between slow and fast) with a 600m recovery jog. I’m hoping to not miss my thursday work out but depending on how sore/tired I am I might just focus on core and stretching on Thursday.

Tonight for dinner my girlfriends and I put together a huge salad bar and mixed our own salads. I forgot how fun it can be to make your own salad. Definitely a good way to turn a borning/healthy salad for dinner into an exciting meal. My salad was a mix of arugula, spinach, chicken, toasted almonds, goat cheese, avocado, boiled egg, roasted red peppers and dried cherries drizzled with garlic oil and balsamic vinegar. So good and still so full! Wish I would have remembered to take pictures.. it was a pretty good set up for a make at home salad bar!

just run

One More Week.

My life has been busy busy busy. The days and months just skip by without me even noticing. I’ll think I just finishing working on a project and see that the last time it was opened was 2 weeks ago. I swear it was just march and I blinked and we are half way through April.

Work is still going great. Been working on all of the spring changes for the restaurants along with an opening of a new restaurant and and a few other projects. I’ve been consistent with my workouts and runs and my diet has been okay, but could be much better.

I love the spring for so many reasons, but mainly because all my favorite produce comes back in season and just gets better through the summer. And it’s time to focus on good produce and get ready for bikini season. 🙂

This weekend I’ll be in napa valley to run my first half marathon of the year. I’m ready to start racing again and I’m hoping it will provide some much needed motivation to get kick start my running season. I haven’t ran more than 10 miles since I completely the marathon back in November and I’m ready to start logging some more miles!

Back when I started this blog, I was juicing a lot and when I learned about paleo, juicing was put on the back burner, but I see the benefits in both juicing and eating whole foods so I’d like to incorporate both into my spring diet.

So here is today’s juice recipe:

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Fruity Greens
1/2 pineapple
1/2 sweet potato
2 apples
2 celery
1/2 cucumber
1 bunch Italian kale (provides the best juice)
1 handful strawberries

It made 28oz of juice and I drank it along with my paleo-friendly steak, eggs, & sweet potato hash. Hash is a great way to eat left overs for breakfast. And a great post work out meal if you workout in the mornings.

I hope to most more often. I hope not to blink and have another month go by. It is after all the season to eat clean, train mean, and live lean.

Lets enjoy spring together!

**Update** I wrote this post this morning and am just not getting around to posting it. I wrote it before the terror attacks on the Boston Marathon. As a fellow runner, my heart goes out to all of those affected by the explosions and all those who trained so hard to have it cut short at the end. I can only imagine how awful and scary that must have been. Having run a marathon before, I know how emotionally and physically tired you are as you near the finish line and too have something as horrific as the explosions interrupt is seriously horrible to even think about. I’m praying for the families who lost love ones, for the injured runners and spectators, and for all marathon runners who were affected by this, including those not in Boston. 

30 days and counting

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I have just a little over 30 days until the Napa trip for my first half marathon of the year. That means it’s time to get down to business as far as training and dieting goes. This last week had a lot going on and I ended up missing all three of my runs and not eating the best of food. I did the Whole30 diet back in September before the NYC marathon and loved how my body felt after the 30 days and really felt good during my training for that month.

 

Though I know I can’t dedicate a whole 30 days right now to the whole30 program because of my job and the scheduled spring tastings I’ll have to do. I’m going to do a modified whole30 and eat clean whole foods eliminating grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol, and dairy in my daily diet outside of what I will have to taste for work. I am starting this today and will do it until the day before the half marathon on April 20th.

I am hoping this will give me the focus and attention needed for my training. The cold weather doesn’t help, but I know I need to focus on my running this next month so that will be the plan.

Here is what my basic week of training will look like:
Monday: Legs
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: XT with my trainer
Thursday: Chest + Run
Friday: Core + Upper Body XT
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Rest

I’m really excited for this next month and even more excited for my trip to Napa! Plus the reward of great food and wine after the half marathon. It will hard work paid off 🙂

Update on the cleanse: I only ended up doing 7 days, it works and I really liked it, but I was causing some stomach issues that wasn’t going to work with my training. I would do it again when I’m not training for a race.

Monday Fitness, Meal Planning and some Paleo eats..

Today was day 1 of the Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Program and I woke up at 5:15am ready to go! Finally mentally and physically back at it. It was a great workout and I hope the rest of the week mirrors today. I added a little cardio and some abs to her day 1 chest and tricep work out.

Here is what Monday’s workout looked like:

Chest & Triceps – 3 sets of 12 reps

  • Wide Pushups
  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Flys
  • Narrow Pushups
  • Overhead Tricep extensions
  • Cable Tricep Pushdowns

Abs – 2 sets of 50 reps

  • Vertical Crunch
  • Bike Crunch
  • Reg Crunches
  • 1 set of 50: vertical knee raises
Meal Planning: All the groceries I got for the week for $86!

Meal Planning: All the groceries I got for the week for $86!

When you want to eat clean, the #1 thing you need to do to guarantee success is meal planning. I know everyone has there way of doing it, but I thought I’d share mine. I put together what I call a master grocery list, separated out by 3 categories: Fruits/Vegetables, Proteins, and Pantry. I then between looking at blogs for recipes, checking out my saved bookmarks, looking in cookbooks and/or just knowing what I want to make or sounds good I put everything on the list that I’ll want to get. The next step takes a little work. I then check my schedule and see when how often I’ll be able to cook or will need to cook ahead and then plan on what meals I want to make. This week I decided on 3 dinners, plus breakfast. I knew that the 3 dinners planned would produce leftovers that I could eat for lunch the next day. After I figured out what I wanted to cook I looked over the ingredients needed and narrowed down my grocery list for those items. It gets easier the more you do it and the more meals you have on your list of go too. I like to stock up on my pantry ingredients when I have a little extra money that way when I’m meal planning all I’m needing to buy is the vegetables and proteins. Things that I think are must to have in your pantry: coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil, dried spices, seasonings, chicken broth, larabars and almonds. The best news is that my meal planning actually paid off this week. I had a budget of $100 to spend on groceries for the week and I was able to get everything I needed for $86! Meal Planning does work if you allow enough time for the planning process.

For lunch today, I was running low on everything as I was getting ready to go to the store, but I know better than to go to the grocery store hungry so I grabbed a chicken thigh I was saving for dinner this week and the little bit of broccoli I had left and I ended up making the most delicious quick lunch ever. If you want something quick for lunch or dinner or after a work out I suggest you try my Sautéed Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli.

Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli: Quick Delicious Lunch

Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli: Quick Delicious Lunch

Sautéed Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli
1 Chicken Thigh – Cut into bite size pieces
2 garlic cloves – Chopped
1 large broccoli bunch – cut into florets
Garlic Powder
Chile Flake
Salt & Pepper
Sriracha
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what I did: Heat enough olive oil to coat my cast iron skillet, add chicken and cook until starting to turn white, add broccoli, garlic powder, chile flake, salt and pepper and cook until chicken is completely cooked and broccoli is tender. Add a little squeeze of sriracha and a splash of balsamic and stir pan until chicken is well coated in balsamic. Eat up! *note: I do not measure my seasonings ever, just eyeball and add enough to add flavor but not overpower. This meal took about 15 mins all said and done and was delicious!

Spaghetti Squash, Kale, Sausage Casserole: Picture doesn't do this delicious meal justice.

Spaghetti Squash, Kale, Sausage Casserole: Picture doesn’t do this delicious meal justice.

Tonight for dinner, I decided to try paleoOMG’s Sqaghetti Squash, Sausage and Kale Casserole. It was absolutely delicious! I changed up the seasoning a little. Instead of tarragon, I chose to use thyme and fennel salt. Her recipes are always so good and this one is no different. The picture doesn’t do it justice, the flavors were awesome!