Daily Choices

“I could see myself doing this after the 30 days.”

Those are the words that actually came out of my mouth on Saturday (day 13)! This past week of eating a strict, clean Paleo diet has been surprisingly easy and enjoyable. We’ve been eating yummy food and focusing more on what we can eat rather than what we can’t eat.

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I won’t lie, though, I’ve had my cravings. Facebook & Pinterest have been my vices as it seems everyone is posting delicious sugar-packed desserts and I find myself drooling over the computer screen! Thankfully I have a husband who is all in on the challenge and won’t let me cave.

This weekend we lived our lives outside of our home a little more since we didn’t have a huge rummage sale to organize and run. I was a little nervous about how I would manage with illegal, yummy food staring me in the face. To say I was a little surprised at our resolve is an understatement.

Friday night, we went on a date to see the movie “42” (which was SPECTACULAR). My senses were instantly heightened as we walked into the theater and were hit with the butter-infused air. Jason and I literally walked side-ways as we passed the concessions stand! It was hard, but we did it. It also helped that we brought almonds and cashews with us to satisfy that salty, crunchy craving.

Saturday we spent our morning at a coffee shop where I would usually purchase a vanilla latte and a scone, but instead I chose to go with the smooth poor-over coffee and fully enjoyed it ALONE! Saturday night we went out with the Rev Up small group leaders to play video games (because that’s what leaders in student ministries do, right?)! There were chips and pretzels and soda, but thankfully we have a gracious student ministry pastor who brought us a veggie dish to munch on (thanks Jared!).

THEN on Sunday we went out for lunch with some friends after church and we both ate a whole30 approved salad (no cheese and only olive oil and balsamic vinegar for our dressing). One thing I’ve realized from this past weekend was that our social life doesn’t have to be stifled because of our diet. We just have to be aware and be prepared.

Here are some of our most asked questions:

What do you miss the most? I honestly thought I would miss chocolate or ice cream the most, but I’m actually missing a glass of wine with dinner or a bottle of wine shared with friends. There’s just something about that experience that I miss, but going 30 days without the wine hasn’t been hard.

How do you feel? I feel great! I did have an intense stomach issue over the weekend and we think that it may be because of something called FODMAPs but I also may have had a stomach bug. We are going to slowly integrate the FODMAP foods back into my diet over the next week to see if it is a digestive issue or I was just sick. I’m hoping that I was just sick because I don’t want to stop eating asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, avocado, apples, etc… But if it is this we will just work with it and limit those in my diet. Other than that bought, I’ve had energy all day. I’ve woken up before 6 am and have stayed up. My 2pm crash doesn’t happen anymore and I fall asleep instantly at night.

What have you been eating? Eggs, salads, beefalo, chicken, pork, sweet potatoes, nuts for snacks, fruit, every kind of vegetable and water…lots of water. Tonight we had a delicious meal of roasted zucchini and  California Style Chicken (chicken, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic YUM)

Will you continue this after the 30 days? I will definitely keep limiting my dairy and sugar intake and completely stay away from grains, but I will probably include wine more regularly again.

Have you noticed any physical changes? I’m not supposed to step on the scale during this month, and my goal wasn’t to lose weight during this time, but I have noticed that my jeans slide on much easier… My husband has noticeably lost weight though! I wouldn’t be surprised it he loses close to 15 pounds by the end of the month!

We are over half way through April which means that we have only 13 more days left of our challenge! It’s hard to believe how fast this has gone and yet how much my mindset over food has changed. I don’t have the urge to eat whatever is in front of me anymore. I feel like I do have the choice to say no and be okay with it now more than I did three weeks ago. I’m learning that the daily practice of “sticking with it” really can change the attitude I have about longevity in the hard stuff.This discipline has also carried over into other parts of my life, such as waking up earlier and staying on task longer. It’s been a long time since I’ve stuck with something this long that would cause me to daily make “sacrifices” over the things that I want over the things that I need. It has been such a good lesson for me in that I can do something hard for 30 days and not feel like I’m being tortured the whole time! 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I’m interested to see how the next 13 days play out!

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Confessions + Commitments + Grace

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Today marks the day that I am committing to eating pure paleo for 30 days…gulp…

First, let me explain what Whole30 is. In a nutshell it is: Eating REAL FOOD-meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.

What we will not be eating processed foods, dairy, sugars (of any kind-including maple syrup and honey), alcohol, grains, legumes, MSG, sulfates, white potatoes, and did I mention sugar?

I have a confession-I am terrible at self-discipline in regard to food and drink. Tell me to go to the gym or to read my Bible every day and I can do it, but with food-that’s a different story. Let’s just go back to last year when Jason and I decided to do a 21 day purification diet recommended to us by our chiropractor. I was eating a scone from Starbucks the second night…by myself…so no one would know. I would stop at a gas station to buy peanut butter m & m’s…you get the story.

I have an unhealthy relationship with food. It’s what I go to when I’m nervous, bored, sad, or even really happy (let’s celebrate with ice cream!). I know this needs to change and I want it to change. Food is a gift from God. It’s meant to be enjoyed and shared, but to me it’s become something else…something unhealthy…

We came across the whole30 program a few weeks ago. I was intrigued. I had started to notice that it was  crazy, hard chore to wake up in the morning before 6:45 and I was monster truck-crashing in the afternoons. The long and short of it is that I haven’t been feeling myself. It was after I read It Starts with Food (the creators of Whole30) that I knew it was time for a change. I felt like I was reading my own journey with food when Melissa Hartwig shared a little of her transformation:

I’d always had an unhealthy relationship with food. Food was my best friend and my worst enemy. It was punishment or reward, control or powerlessness. I went through stages of extreme dieting and extreme exercise. But after just thirty days on this new plan, my relationship with food was different. For the first time in my life, food made me feel good. (And not just the quick-and-dirty “good” that comes with the first few bites of ice cream…). My energy levels skyrocketed-and stablized. I felt as peppy at 6 a.m. as I did at noon as I did at 6 p.m. I started losing body fat without even trying. My performance in the gym, which had plateaued, suddenly started improving again…

I read that and I knew that my sugar addiction and my unhealthy relationship with food was the culprit. But I also realized something else…food had become an idol in my life. I had been turning to food as a way to control the uncertainty that I have been facing with the future of this year. I had not been turning to the One who promises peace and the One who holds the whole world in His hands.

This month will be much more than a 30 days  to “get more healthy” challenge for me. I do hope it will happen, but my hope is to turn to Jesus and lay my burdens at His feet rather than turn to the fridge for a cheap fix.

I’m sharing this with my small readership because I’m asking if you would consider finding the idols in your life that you turn to rather than to God, the One who has graciously given us all things (Romans 8:32).

After coming off an Easter weekend and being deeply reminded of the gravity of our sin and the immeasurable love of God, spend some time considering where in life you are finding your heart turn to when you’re bored, hurting, or happy. And join me for the next thirty days in finding your peace and comfort in the only One who truly satisfies the cravings of your heart.

Follow me on twitter and facebook to see how my progression changes throughout these 30 days! Every Wednesday for the month of April I plan on giving a recap here on the blog of the previous week, so if you haven’t already-click the subscribe button on the top right hand side of this page to get this blog sent to your email every time I post something (you can also keep up to date with our adoption that way too!).

I’m nervous about this first week. I know I will have headaches and my mood will not be pleasant, but I’m hoping that by trusting in the grace and strength of God there will be small victories and sweet times with the Lord.

Join me???

Friday Fitness Thoughts

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I wasn’t able to sleep last night, so I stayed up pondering life (sounds deep!). I realized that my blog is an offshoot of my thoughts and passions and one of my favorite things is never discussed here..my passion for fitness!

I workout at our neighborhood YMCA now that I am no longer a personal trainer. I wondered if it would be hard to get into the gym 3-4 times a week once I stopped working at the gym, but it wasn’t. I LOVE to sweat and feel like I’m going to die from a workout. It’s strange…I know 🙂

I know that my love for fitness is unique. There aren’t many woman I know who would choose to do a killer crossfit workout just for the fun of it! The other night, my hubs and I stayed up late watching a video of two of the greatest crossfit women competing in the Crossfit Games Open 13.2 and something inside made me WANT to do that. Now, I don’t want to look like Annie Throisdotter, but I’d like to have a little bit of her strength.

I was using a great crossfit resource for women who are wanting to do crossfit, but not do the heavy lifting. I enjoyed it and I saw some results, but last Friday I did the Crossfit Games 13.1 and about DIED. I knew that if I did want to get serious about crossfit, I’d have to start lifting heavier and working harder. I did that this week…I still can’t walk right or extend my arms fully! But I enjoyed it!

Tomorrow I am planning on trying 13.2. I know that I’m not where I want to be right now, but I feel like I now have a goal that I can reach! I’ll be keeping myself accountable through posting my workouts on my blog. Maybe it will encourage you to get back into the gym too?!

The big thing for me lately has been my eating habits. I am a sugar addict and know that it hinders my health in so many ways. Next week Jason and I are planning on starting the Whole30 challenge to help detox our bodies and get us back on track with our Paleo/Primal eating. Check out Whole30 and join us for this challenge! I will be linking up with a few other ladies in the blogger world who are doing it and sharing our journey on Fridays!

What are some ways that you are improving your health? Have any goals I can help encourage you in?