It starts with food..


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.


30 days and counting


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.

Finding Balance

I’ve been a bit off this week and have been trying to figure out why. I think a lot of it has to do with having balance. I have been needing to learn the balance between diet and exercise and when it’s okay to enjoy something less healthy or miss a work out. I get so down on myself when I miss a workout and then if I eat crappy that day too then you might as well call the day ruined. I found myself having two days like that this week and just couldn’t pull myself out of the rut.

I do so good on programs like the whole30 because there is no cheating and nothing to feel guilty or off balanced about, but then when your not on any strict diets and your just trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s hard to get past the guilty feeling when you have an off day. Especially when you’ve spent the time learning so much about food and exercise and know exactly that eating that candy bar or cookie or whatever it is isn’t going to make you feel good or healthy. So why do we do it? and How do we do do it wihout feeling guilty afterwards?

I have 6 more days until I run in the NYC city marathon that I’ve spent the last year training and getting ready for and I think it’s messing with me mentally. I just so ready for it to be done and being in the “tapering” period can mess with you. I wanted to spend this last week on strenght training my legs, but found myself only working out 3 days and only 1 day on my legs because I just felt so tired and didn’t want to wear myself out right before the marathon.

I woke up today finally feeling like myself again and figuring out that what I’ve been missing all week is balance. During this final week before the marathon, I am going to focus on stretching and flexibility and rest, both mentally and physically. I want to be 100% ready when I get to NYC and I know if I push it this week, it might push me over the edge. I’ve worked too hard to have that happen.

When I get back from the marathon I’m going to focus on strenght training Dec-Feb until I decide if I want to run again or maybe do a triathlon so I signed up at a gym to work with a trainer once a week to help push my weights to a new level. The gym offers monthly fitness assesments on the last saturday of every month so I thought it was perfect timing do a fitness assement before the marathon and then I’ll do again at the end of November to see what my goal will be going into my December Strength Training Challenge.

Since it’s my first time doing a fitness assesment, I thougtht I’d share my results with you. By the way, not sure if it hinder or made it better, but I didn’t know what I was getting myself into so I went to a grit class at my gym before the fitness assessment where we had to do 2 min plank, 3 sets up 16 pushups, deadlifts, burpees and squats so I’ll be intersted to see how I do next time without doing that first.

Height: 5’4
Weight: 114.4 (in clothes)
BodyFat %: 15.5
lbs Muscle: 94.38
Water Weight %: 60.1
Chest(in): 31.375
Waist(in): 26.375
Hips(in): 33
Sit and Reach(cm): 38

Plank: 2:09
Wall Sit: 1:46
Push-ups: 21
Leg Press (1.5x body weight/160lbs): 9
Pull-ups (.5 body weight/60lbs): 5
Burpees (1 min): 21
1 Mile Run: 7:45
1000m Row: 5:02

They measure your fitness on a point system so my total points were 143. My trainer said a good goal for next time was to try and get the 150 club. So I’ll update you guys after thanksgiving with my new fitness assessment.

To make sure I have balance this week and nice relaxing week before the marathon I’m going to focus on staying paleo, doing hot yoga, a few warm up runs, getting my list together for everything I need for NYC and try not to let my last week of work stress me out.

I’ll check in before I leave for NYC and of course I can’t wait to share my marathon results so look foward to a NYC post early next week. Can’t believe the countdown is nearing the end!

Some Recipes for you.

Again, I need to be reminded that when I cook I should take photos! Without photos you guys don’t have a visual of what it looked like and I know when I look at post I love seeing photos along with the recipes. Please forgive me… I’ll keep reminding myself.

Just to be honest.. these paleo treats were delicious, but it triggered the sugar demons and now all I do is crave sweets after a meal. It’s better at night, but during the day after lunch the last 2 days I just want a cookie. I hate the feeling, I hate cravings. I want to feel satisfied from lunch without the want of something sweet. So make at your own risk, but don’t feel to guilty about eating them as they aren’t too bad for you, just watch the approaching sugar demon that wants to add all sorts of processed sugars back in your life.

Blueberry-Strawberry Crumble
2 pints blueberries
1 pint strawberries
1 lemon
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup melted coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp organic syrup

1. In baking dish, add blueberries, chopped strawberries and juice from one lemon. Mix to coat all the berries
2. In mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well
3. cover berries with almond mixture and bake at 375 for 40 mins.
4. I enjoyed this with breakfast, instead of as dessert.

Flourless Zucchini Brownies
1 cup almond butter
1 1/2 cup grated and chopped zucchini
1/3 cup honey – raw preferrably if you have it
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nut meg
2 tbsp unsweetened dark chocolate powder
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

1. combine all ingredents and mix well
2. pour into greased glass baking dish
3. bake 40 mins at 350

Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin (slowcooker)
6 apples, sliced
cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, chile spice
1 pork tenderloin about 2lbs
salt and pepper
drizzle of honey (optional and not whole30 approved)

1. Layer the bottom of the slowcooker with apple slices, add mixed spices ( i just eyeballed this)
2. season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper
3. cut pork in half and layer with sliced apples
4. cover pork with remaining apples, add mixed spices and drizzle of honey
5. cook at high heat for 5 hours
6. the best pork ever! been eating it all week with salads and veggies

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Hash (my favorite breakfast right now and whole30 approved)
1 zucchini shredded
1 sweet potato shredded
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 lb ground sausage or bacon
2 eggs
cinnamon, chile powder, salt and pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil or fat

1. heat large skillet with coconut oil or cooking fat
2. add onions, zucchini and sweet potato and cook for a few mins
3. add ground sausage, cinnamon, chile powder, salt and pepper
4. fry 2 eggs and place on top of cooked hash
5. enjoy this delicious breakfast. I’ve had it with sausage, and bacon, the addition of mushrooms and spinach and it has been so good. and the possibilities are endless. Shredding the sweet potatoes and zucchini makes it feel like your eating hashbrowns. Hashbrowns and runny eggs happen to be my favorite!

On the menu for this weekend:
1. slowcooker short ribs 2. chicken curry 3. sweet potato hash 4. zucchini “pasta”
would also like to make more pesto, mayo, tuna salad lettuce wraps for lunch.

i’m a runner.

Yesterday, as I was running around Issaquah I had my first ah ha! runner’s moment. Kind of like the ‘magic’ you feel on the whole30. I’ve been training for the marathon for a long time now and always just knew I had to do it and sometimes my runs felt good and sometime they sucked. But yesterday I really felt this overwhelming feeling of just loving that I was outside, my feet were moving and I knew this was more than just training for a marathon, this was me as a runner. It was a great feeling and i’m hoping I’ll never forget it. If I ever forget why I love running, I hope I can look back at these blog post during my training and remind myself why it’s such a great exercise. It really does help relieve stress, I find myself usually in deep thought or meditating during my runs. I love when miles go by and I don’t even notice.

I’m approaching the end of the my marathon training. I have my final long run this weekend before the taper period and I’m scheduled to run 20 miles. I haven’t ran more than 16 yet, and the 16’s have been really tough so i’m nervous, but i’m also excited. I’m hoping to do a brand new route this weekend and have a few runners with me. Deciding to run train for a marathon has not been easy, but I’ve enjoyed the process and can’t wait to cross the finish line.

A little update since the whole30.. I haven’t strayed from it much. It’s actually a really weird feeling when someone wants me to try something and I’m so used to saying no I can’t have that, that it’s weird to say no thank you i don’t want it. Your mind plays tricks on you a little the first week since you no longer are “cheating” if you want to have a treat. I struggled with some cookies that were brought in the office, but I chose to have a small bite instead of eating the whole cookie or the whole bag! I spent the weekend trying different paleo treats that I was excited I could have after the whole30. I made pumpkin pancakes, zucchini brownies and Blueberry-Strawberry Crumble. I also made a really delicious pork and apple roast. I will share all the recipes with you a little later. What I found, was that even though they were all very delicious, my stomach still didn’t love that it wasnt the healthiest thing I could put in my body. And my mind doesn’t know the difference between a healthy treat and non healthy treat so I found myself craving things even when I was really full. I brought in all the treats for co workers and am trying to fight the sugar demons again and stay away from desserts when i’m craving them, paleo or not. Besides a couple of bites of the cookies, I haven’t had anything non-paleo so I’m happy about that. Really don’t want to bring gluten or dairy back at all if i can help it.