Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

Whole 30….Round 2!


You know how they say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? Well I’m totally over lions. I hate winter. It’s been so freaking cold and miserable here in the suburbs of Boston – I’m ready for some sunshine and flowers! I’m going to gear myself up for a spring mentality (and a more fabulous summer body) by kicking off a new Whole 30 challenge this coming Monday. I eased myself in this week – cutting ties with bagels and homemade cookies (two things that were making more frequent appearances than they really should). I also embraced some new things like cilantro (formerly a hate – and I mean hate!) and raw red onion.I’m ready to rock the next 30 days!

Just in case you’re not familiar Whole 30 is an elimination/detox diet created by a husband and wife team who believe in organic, whole foods and no junk. The plan is simple to explain but terribly hard to execute:

Eat real food in these forms:

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Tons of vegetables
  • Some fruit
  • Healthy oils, nuts and seeds.

Sounds simple right?! Yeaaa not so fast….

Don’t eat:

  • Sugar (any kind)
  • Alcohol
  • Grains
  • Legumes (which includes America’s favorite nut, the peanut)
  • Dairy
  • Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites (found in many processed foods)
  • White potatoes (along with Yukon, red bliss etc.) – the only potato that’s Whole 30 approved is the sweet potato

So, it’s a big change…but I’m excited to take it on. I did great last time although the headaches were pretty awful (not excited for those). My hardest challenge will be breakfast. I like eggs – but they don’t always like me back….so I need to get creative. This recipe for Banana Nut Porridge  sounds awesome and would be delicious with dates!  I have my nuts soaking as we speak and I’m hoping this is a tasty breakfast. I love oatmeal and I think it will be similar.

Sunday is veggie prep day and today I got help from Derek and Mom (thanks guys!) – here’s what we have ready in the fridge for the week ahead:

  • Roasted cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and broccoliflower along with asparagus, green beans and broccolini washed and ready to be roasted for dinners.
  • Spinach, arugula and spring mix for salad base
  • Raspberries (to add to porridge)
  • Vinegar pickled beets
  • 3 kinds of tomatoes (variety is the spice of life right?)
  • Sweet potato mash
  • Almonds, cashews, pecans (no peanuts!)
  • Power Salad fixin’s (I stole this from Panera after having one for lunch Friday!)

Here’s the salad I had Friday:

PowerSaladMy take: Spinach/arugula/cilantro base, fresh tomatoes, peppers (yellow and orange) and pickled red onions (homemade!) with roasted chicken and cilantro/lemon hummus. Super delicious and super excited to eat it! I’ll snap a picture later in the week! Derek loves cukes, I hate them so we’ll include them in his salad only. 🙂

Oh and here’s a shot of the garlic pickled red onions and roasted cabbage/brussel sprouts:

Roasted Veggies and Pickled Onions

They joke that Whole 30 is a commitment – but it really is! I’m not usually a big food planner (I find it constricting and stressful) so this will be a big change to have to think this far ahead. I think I’m most worried about giving up ice cream – I LOVE ice cream and a month is a long time! Oh and if you’re curious I will be having my beloved Starbucks coffee with coconut/almond milk instead of cream/1 sugar. 🙂 See? I’ve thought of everything! Now, let’s see if I see a difference in 30 days!

Some of the annoyances (besides of course the weight) are super, insane dry skin/eczema, random hives (possibly due to coconut so I’m not going nuts with coconut during the challenge) and psoriasis on my head. A lot of these ailments have been fixed with a clean diet – I can’t wait to see how I fare on April 12th!

Are you doing a Whole 30? Have you? Any tips or tricks?

 

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The Whole Truth ~ Week 1 recap!


Week one of Whole 30 is in the books! It was rough, I can’t lie. I’ll highlight the finer points in bullet points, because I love a bullet point!

*The first three days I was convinced I was going to die. Let’s just say I grossly underestimated how much processed food I was eating. My stomach didn’t take well to fresh foods and veggies. By day 4 I definitely felt like my system “got it” and it was easier. Upping my water intake helped. Taking it easy on the exercise front helped too.

*Long term I can live without gluten. I feel better when I don’t have it and the “missing it” is truly mind over matter. Lettuce wraps taste better and crunchier to me than regular sandwiches. Pretty sure I had lettuce wraps 4 times this week. So good! (note to self: snap pictures next time).

mind over matter

*Long term I cannot live without ice cream. I miss it. My favorite ice cream stand (Kimball’s in Carlise) opened for the season and their ice cream is just to die for – so fresh and tasty. I will definitely incorporate this back in next month – as a treat for occasions!

*When you focus on whole, natural foods you really notice the flavor. I love artichoke hearts marinated in buffalo sauce but I was drowning them in blue cheese before. Now I have them with orange peppers and spinach, no dressing – delicious! One of my best combos was Saturday night. I tried to emulate a salad I had at Craft in LA –  hearts of palm, roasted red peppers, avocado and roasted chicken(I added this, it wasn’t in the original) with a squeeze of lime juice. Incredibly tasty and filling! I wish I could have an avocado tree in Boston – that’s how much I love avo!

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*Whole 30 talks a lot about curing disease through food. I can’t say for sure any of my ailments are cured but my skin seems less dry, my plantar fasciitis seems to be under control (stretching helps too!) and I have more energy. Can’t wait to see how I feel in the next few weeks!

*Prepping is KEY. I think anytime I’ve failed at weight-loss in the past can be attributed to lack of planning. Saturday we grocery shopped (Whole Foods for fruits/veggies, Market Basket + BJ’s for everything else). Sunday I prepped. Roasted, washed, cut, bagged and planned for the week. In the fridge I have ingredients for chicken Thai lettuce wraps (enough for 3 lunches), enough roasted cauliflower and broccoli for the week (lunch or dinner), grilled chicken breasts, sliced peppers for dipping in guacamole, strawberries hulled and popped in the freezer for smoothies and sliced salad ingredients ready for a protein. Fruits (er veggies) of my labor:

veggies

*Whole truth  – I cheated. I love Starbucks iced coffee. LOVE. With cream + 1 sugar. I tried coconut milk, I tried almond milk, I tried black – I can’t do it. I need to conquer this – but if it’s the worst, I’m pretty proud of myself!

*Best part? I noticed my sugar craving are waning. Tonight I wanted sweet. I needed sweet. I did not resort to chocolate or ice cream – instead I opted for some fresh fruit – kiwi, raspberries and blueberries. It hit the spot!

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My best friend Julie is trying it starting tomorrow. I can’t wait to compare notes with her. Anyone else just start it? Email me, I’d love to hear about your experiences! sparklyandslimming@gmail.com 🙂

I’m all prepped for week two and ready to get some exercise back into my life. Lots of cardio this week and hopefully a strength training class or two are on the docket.

Looking forward I’m trying to figure out how I can keep this up when I travel. I think it will require finding a hotel with a fridge and doing some grocery shopping – which I’m certainly not opposed to doing – it’s just not always an option depending where I’m staying. I’m thinking I’ll have to get creative!

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Whole 30 ~ 4/8 – 5/8


I have been chatting away about life and love over at my new nook on the interwebz – but I decided to pop back here for a chat about my new nutrition focus. Tomorrow I am launching into 30 days of “Whole 30” – you can read all the details here. Here are the basics:

What is the Whole30®?

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? 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 ailments, 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. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, and your long-term health. The most important reason to keep reading?

This will change your life.

I just finished “It Starts with Food” and I feel like I need to try it. I need a life change!

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So what can I eat?

* Lots of fruits

*Lots of veggies

* Lean proteins

* NO eat sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy or processed junk  (also known as most of my current diet)

Sounds crazy eh?  I’m excited. It’s the butt-kicking I need.

Now, I know dairy is not bad for you – but the program cuts it out and I think I can live without it for a month. Maybe. 🙂  (No cheese? Bah…maybe not)

What made me try this? Straight from the book and the website:

Here comes the tough love. This is for those of you who are considering taking on this life-changing month, but aren’t sure you can actually pull it off, cheat free, for a full 30 days. This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here).” This is for you.

It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.

—-

I need some tough love! I need some butt-kicking. 🙂

This is my fruit bowl right now (usually empty):

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Had I not just bagged up all my veggies I would have snapped a picture of those too!

Breakfast is going to be challenging – I love oatmeal. Love it. No oats. No dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt) so I decided to go with a fruit smoothie made with a bit of coconut almond milk and this:

Hopefully it’s tasty – we’ll see tomorrow!

I’m already going to call it – not having my iced coffee with cream and sugar is going to be the hardest. I love me some Starbucks! Send me some willpower friends, I’m going to need it.

I’m going to snap a before picture before work – we’ll see if you guys notice a difference in 30 days!

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