For the New Year (2017) I (along with every other human in America) wanted to do a post-Holiday cleanse due to my lack of self-control and complete binge eating spree I had participated in over Christmas break. I already have known since 2014 that my body cannot handle a lot of foods (such as gluten, dairy, soy, and sugars) and for the most part-I have stayed the true course and stuck to a “fun Whole30 lifestyle”. But for some reason from October 2016 to December 2016 all my “learned knowledge” about how to take care of my body just went out the window. Is it because I am a newly wed and it was my 1st Married Christmas? Is it because I was so focused on travel season at work and had no real-time to focus on meal planning + being a newly wed + other responsibilities which were piling around me? Was it because I was under a lot of personal pressure from past anxieties that were slowly building up and the only “relief” I found was in comfort foods, despite how they made my body feel in the negative after effects? Was it because I took Ty to India for the very first time, and I didn’t want to be on a disciplined meal plan and I wanted to eat ALL.THE.FOODS. and introduce him to all my Indian comfort foods? Or is it because I just put my self-control and assertiveness over my own will-power aside and just pretty much destroyed my body for 3 months straight? HONESTLY I think it was a combination of ALL those things really. But because of my lack of self-discipline to really take care of myself with a balanced lifestyle, I gained some embarrassing LB’s, AND I started experiencing a weird lower back pain (every time I ate horribly) AND I also started having a stabbing sensation of what felt like a knife being in my stomach every time I ate without thinking. Now, you would think I would use my common sense and correlate that eating badly were causing the negative side effects of all that physical pain (yes, I knew it was because of that, but I honestly just wanted to have “fun” and not really think at all for those three months). By the time December 27th had rolled around, I was completely fed up with myself. Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who patiently listened to me as I cried/complained and even sobbed about the state of my mind and body. But every-time I started to talk negatively (and meanly) about myself, he would stop me in my tracks and try to help me reframe what was going on. What was going on is that I just wasn’t dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety that had been building up over time, and honestly I just didn’t want to deal with thinking through and navigating through my negativity that was building up inside me. But I knew I needed to because my lower back pain, my constant stomach pains, and my mounting stress was too much (and I honestly didn’t want it to take a toll on my sweet husband).
SO my game plan at the end of December was to retrain my body to get back into eating clean consistently, be good to myself (no negative self-talk), and try new ways of incorporating overall health and wellness into my busy schedule and lifestyle.
I’m not going to lie, Whole30 in January WAS hard (not just because I was coming off of the emotional HIGH of the Holiday season) but it was incredibly hard because I now am training for a new position (still at Lipscomb University) but I am juggling that new training + still being full-time in my current position. It has been a highly stressful month for me because when I am learning something new, my tendency is to want to know all the things at the same time and to be perfect at executing everything. Well, this new job is definitely going to be a learning curve for me because it involves many different facets of working with International students (some of these concepts I have NEVER heard of and I know it is going to take at least a full year to digest my new job with its roles/responsibilities). Thankfully I have a great support system here in Nashville (and outside of Nashville too) and I know that God will lead me through this new chapter of my professional career (I just have to be patient and afford myself some grace).
I mentioned my new job training + transition (while currently working in my full-time job) in this blurb because I wanted to point out that I realized that I have so many emotions attached to food. The longer I have been training with this job, the more I have been day-dreaming about how much I want a Five Daughter’s Donut, or a cookie, or even an entire pizza with a gallon of ice cream. Ridiculous, I know. But I just want all those things mostly because I am stressed out and when I am stressed and feel sad, I usually reach for the closest food around me to help calm my nerves and make myself feel better. But the past 30 days I haven’t been able to reach out for those foods, so I have substituted other foods in their place (i.e. Larabars b/c they are ‘Whole30-ish’, or Fries-b/c they are ‘potatoes’, or even Chocolate Almond milk because ‘it’s almond milk’) So, this round of Whole30 wasn’t as ‘perfect’ as it should have been, but in my mind I have tried my very best because in my stress I at least reached out for those ‘healthier options’ and not for junk food.
I wanted to create a day by day documentary of photos about this Round 4 journey (mostly for myself) but also to share with others to show that I’m not that perfect when it comes to clean eating, and that I am pretty repetitive with certain food groups. But on a positive note, I also wanted to share my not-so perfect journey to encourage others to try to stick to a healthy eating plan (even if some days are not perfect or they feel like a total FLOP) keep on pushing yourself!!!!
I hope this can help encourage some of you out there who are also in the middle of something stressful (like maybe a new job transition like myself, or maybe you are in a new chapter in life, or maybe facing a valley in life) whatever it may be, I hope this encourages you to find some boldness to continue to focus on whatever task is in front of you and to continue to push yourself (despite your stress and despite any negative self talk). If you are in the middle of a Whole30 yourself, continue to keep on trying (even if sometimes you cheat with a Larabar or with dried fruit…because gosh-darn it…we just need a quick sugar pick me up!) Just pick yourself back up and continue to strive to eat well, and learn how to eat healthier options when all you want to do is eat pizza, ice cream, waffles and cookies (i.e. me pretty much).
I feel like if I can do it, anyone can do this (but that’s just what I think!)
Anyway, enjoy my quirky not-so-perfect 30 day journey of my 4th round of Whole30. The most rewarding thing I have gained from this round is that I now know how to cook Cauliflower Rice and I actually enjoy eating it! So I’m def going to stick to eating that more often than eating real rice-which is a win in my book!
My Whole30 Journey (pictures, recipes, and quotes) (January 10th-Feb 8th,2017) (NOTE: starting January 29th, my church (ETHOS) started a church-wide Fast so my husband and I decided to participate in some form/capacity. I decided to give up my dinners for the month of February and use that time to spend either in prayer or in quiet time because I need that time with God and I want to grow more in this discipline. I realize that some readers may strongly be opposed to the idea of Fasting (and that’s okay) but this is a new discipline that I want to participate in, and I want to really take my walk with God deeper. Anyway, I share that all just to say, that is why a lot of my ‘dinner’ photos are missing from the last 10 days of Whole30)
(Oh, and I have to give a shout-out to my January 2017 Whole30 Support Group who also journeyed with me and participated in Whole30. Stoney, Laura, Jesse, Vernon, Amy + Grace, you all rock and I am so happy I had you all by my side! Your daily encouragement, GIFS, occasional outbursts of cursing, and daily dose of recipes was exactly what I needed to push myself through these 30 days! Thanks guys!)
Whole30 Day 1
I wanted to share this quote that I found while doing research about Whole30
This has nothing to do with Whole30 or Project333, but I was incredibly proud of myself for KILLING IT at OTF today with 26 splat points! I feel like I rock star right now
Breakfast of champions! Whole30Day1Breakfast! (Banana, Coffee with Almond Milk + added Coconut milk and cinnamon + whole30 breakfast casserole)
I LOVE Ranch Dressing SO MUCH! Like, I literally baptize my salad with ranch dressing, so it was AWESOME to find a compliant Whole30 approved Ranch Dressing I could “baptize” my salads with! Enjoy!
Whole30Day1 Lunch (at work)! I packed my lunch today. It consists of a salad with shredded carrots, roasted chicken and the #DumpRanch Recipe (which I highly recommend)
Whole30Day1 Dinner at BurgerFi
Lindsay’s goodbye dinner at BurgerFi!
Whole30 Day 2
Living on a Prayer at some points of this day// today was a very stressful day
Whole30 Day2 Breakfast (repeat of Day 1)
Whole30 Day2 Lunch (Salad with DumpRanch + Grilled Chicken)
Saying Goodbye to my Bestie, Lindsay, she left for Argentina today!
Whole30 Day 2 “Dinner” (It was right before House Church// I was hungry but didn’t have time to cook a meal, so I had apples + almond butter and coffee to stay awake)
Whole30 Day 3
Whole30 Day 3 Breakfast// apples + almond butter and a cup of coffee
Whole30 Day 3 Lunch & Dinner // Smoked Sausage and Potato Soup (it is super YUMMMMM And I’m already excited about eating it again tomorrow!)
Wanted to share my workout from Thursday the 12th// had a fun 4.5 mile run and even though it’s not under 10min per mile, I still felt great b/c I’m eating balanced meals!
Whole30 Day 4
Whole30 Day 4 Breakfast (Coffee + Baked Apples with Cinnamon) (literally like dessert for breakfast)
Whole30 Day 4 Lunch (at the Lipscomb Cafeteria)
Whole30 Day4 Dinner (Roasted Turkey with Veggies)
Whole30 Day 5
(I ate a banana for breakfast this morning and forgot to post a picture) So here’s the best representation of me over breakfast
Whole30 Day5 Dinner out at Loveless Cafe I found a turkey sandwich with grilled onions, so I asked the server not to bring me any bread or cheese (dairy) and I just ate the turkey, the grilled onions, and ordered some potato fries!
Whole30 Day 6
Whole30 Day6 Breakfast (Banana with coffee before Church…and yes I still take Doterra supplements!!!! These are my favorite vitamins and I have taking these for well over 3 years now!)
My not-so-Whole30 Day 6 Lunch today at Taj Indian Restaurant. I cheated and had some rice with my Indian food. Normally I would feel tremendous guilt about getting rice as a meal, but since this is my 3rd round of Whole30 I decided to live a little and eat food from the “Motherland”
Whole30 Day6 Dinner (Leftovers: Turkey and Broccoli with hash-browns)
Whole30 Day 7
Whole30 Day 7 Breakfast (Coffee + a Banana)
Whole30 Day 7 Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets with their Waffle Fries (I know that fries are not considered Whole30, but this is my justification= they are potatoes! LOL)
Whole30 Day 7 Dinner: Loaded baked sweet potato with mexican cauliflower rice and ground beef (and leftover turmeric chicken I found in the fridge! LOL!
A Banana for dessert ( b/c I’m desperate for sweets!
Whole30 Day 8
Whole30 Day8 Breakfast (I ended up not eating the banana or the larabar bites…just the coffee and the pears with almond butter)
Whole30 Day8 lunch (leftovers from last night’s dinner// I ate it all then I realized I hadn’t taken a picture! But it was the Mexican Cauliflower Rice with a sweet potato and ground beef-it was really good!)
Why yes I did in fact eat these as a snack, even though they aren’t approved since they are chocolate Larabars…I thought I would live a little.
When I got home I was so hungry, so I ate four handfuls of Sunflower seeds…I’m living on the edge
How to make Squash Pasta (screen shot) and it’s SUPER EASY and if you add enough spices it is yummy!
How to make Whole30 approved Meatballs (they are Paleo too!)
Whole30 Day 8 Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with Whole30 approved meatballs + sauce and roasted red potatoes as a side (it was seriously SO YUM)
Whole30 Day 9
I was so desperate for coffee, my husband brought me some coffee to the bathroom while I was getting ready (I couldn’t wait until after I was ready I had to get coffee in me ASAP)
Whole30 day 9 breakfast a handful of walnuts + a banana and leftover Larabar bites (not pictured)
Whole30 Day 9 Lunch: leftover meatballs with squash spaghetti (and raspberries as a side for ‘dessert’)
Whole30 Day 10 Dinner// Mexican Cauliflower Rice
Whole30 Day 10 // Ty bought me Chipotle meat + salad so that I could have a “rice bowl”
Whole30 Day 10 // I’m 1/3rd of the way done
Whole30 Day 10 Breakfast (coffee with bananas and almond butter)
Whole30 Day 10 Lunch // Leftover Mexican Cauliflower Rice with Blue Coast Burrito chicken + salad (again, kinda like a “burrito bowl”) also garnished with cilantro
Whole30 Day 10 dinner apple slices + almond butter (it was a hectic day b/c straight from work we had house church so this was my meal on the go!)
Whole30 Day 11 (I must confess I ate NO green veggies today)
Whole30 Day 11 // Breakfast at Fido’s (breakfast/lunch since it was close to 11am) Local Sausage + hash-browns and red salsa (with coffee)
Whole30 Day 11 // Dinner (roasted red potatoes with steak)
Whole30 Day 12// this was my not so perfect day// I totally slipped up today
I ran my first 5 miles of 2017! Not that fast (b/c I think I’m still consuming too many carbs or sugars to slow me down….or maybe 32 is just old….URGH!)
My time…not the fastest but I did it! I ran 5 miles for 15k training!
My Lunch after running = steak, eggs (scrambled), roasted potatoes with turmeric, avocado (guac) and homemade ranch (DumpRanch) with Coffee // Whole30 Day 12 Brunch
My Dinner at my Niece, Trevi’s, Birthday party// so I had my own Mexican Cauliflower Rice with the other Taco Toppings at the party and I cheated and had a Vegan Tortilla (it was homemade by my sweet Sister in Law, and It was so good and I didn’t get sick after eating it!)
Whole30 Day 13
Whole30 Day 13: Breakfast// Banana + Coffee before church!
Whole30 Day 13 Lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen: Steak Kabob Plate!
I’m going to be honest, this was my dinner + three hand-fuls of sunflower seeds (not the best meal…but I had to make a compliant some how)
Whole30 Day 14// oh yes I did eat larabar chocolate bites! I am not perfect, but they were oh so yum! And I always take my Doterra Supplements every morning!
Whole30 Day 14 // dinner (my own version of a shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes and ground turkey meat)
Whole30 Day 15 // half there!
Whole30 Day 15: Breakfast (leftovers: roasted potatoes, tomato chutney, and steak with coffee)
Whole30 Day 15 Lunch: (disclaimer: I know that fries are not compliant…but I always cheat with fries because in my mind it’s a veggie and they don’t make me sick) // but I did enjoy these lettuce wraps with ground turkey meat!
Whole30 Day 15 Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with leftover steak + marinara sauce
Whole30 Day 15 “dessert” after dinner: a half of mango!
Whole30 Day 16
Whole30 Day 16 Breakfast// Strawberries, Eggs with Tomato Chutney and Coffee
My 3 mile run (during my lunch break)// felt really good to get each mile under 10 minutes!
Whole30 Day 16 “lunch” after my workout. And I know I know, the Larabar is really pushing it ESP since it has chocolate but Hey, you all know this by now…I’m really not that perfect with Larabars (or Fries)
This cool dude literally gave me a high five today! That was something worth sharing! Made my day!
Whole30 Day 16 Dinner: Ground Turkey + Sweet Potato (actually it tastes amazing, even though it looks weird)
Whole30 Day 17
Whole30 Day 17 Breakfast// Leftover Steak, some scrambled eggs, and roasted potatoes (with dump ranch), coffee and strawberries. (Not going to lie Day 17 was a nightmare people. Mostly because of my stress with work. Balancing a work schedule with a new training schedule for a new job is getting to me, and all I wanted to do was eat Pizza and drown my stress over a bowl of cookie-dough ice cream. But I didn’t. Instead for lunch I ate at the Cafeteria (Lipscomb Cafe) for lunch// had a spinach salad with sunflower seeds and half of a chicken breast with olive oil as dressing AND french fries AND a banana for “dessert”// for Dinner I didn’t do so well b/c I was still stressed so I had some coffee and larabar bites with dried mango. My victory was that I didn’t give in to Pizza or Ice Cream. But my defeat was that I was literally sad and anxious all day because I don’t feel equipped for my new job.
Whole30 Day 18
Whole30 Day 18 Breakfast// Roasted Red Potatoes, Bacon, brussel sprouts (which were nasty), eggs and coffee (it was a very strange breakfast, and it grossed me out, I only ate like half of it, and then had 5 larabar bites to get over how gross that breakfast was)
Whole30 Day18 Lunch (yup I def went to Kroger and bought lunch meat and a banana and a larabar….because I was desperate for something to eat! For dinner (not pictured) I had chipotle with my Whole30 Dumpranch (and Day 18 was intensely miserable for me because I was super sick)
Whole30 Day 19
Whole30 Day19// Breakfast (Pecan Pie Larabar + Coffee)
Day 19// Ty and I were extras in a music video for The Nobility + The Secret Sisters (def a very exciting Saturday morning!)
Whole30 Day 19 Lunch at Chipotle // Salad with Steak + Chicken + Cilantro and my Whole30 Approved DumpRanch Recipe
Whole30 Day 19// A Shake for dinner (I know you’re not supposed to have smoothies/shakes for meals, but I am still recovering from being sick, so this felt good to drink down because I’m still weak) // it was a Doterra TrimShake (which I am most certain is not Whole30 approved, but I did make it with Almond Milk, Almond Butter and a Banana)
Whole30 Day 20/// I’m 2/3rd’s done!
I had enough energy to run 7 miles to train for the Hot Chocolate 15k (which is in 2 weeks!) eating well has been good for my overall pace!
Whole30 Day 20 “breakfast” // bacon + half a mango (really this was after the long run, but it felt like breakfast)
Whole30 Day 20 Lunch // Cauliflower Rice, Ground Beef and half of a sweet potato (For the remainder of Whole30 I am taking a fast from dinner as a part of the Ethos FAST Forward for 30 days//it has been a difficult decision process for me, but I want to take out one meal a day to just spend some time with God in prayer and to journal. I am very excited and nervous about this ESP in finishing up the last 10 days of Whole30, but overall I am very excited about the next 30 days with my church family!)
Whole30 Day 21
Whole30 Day 21 breakfast// the usual: a banana with coffee and I always take my Doterra vitamins with my breakfast!
Whole30 Day 21 Lunch// Sweet Potato with Ground Beef + Cauliflower rice (repeat from yesterday//best leftovers ever) + 1/2 of a mango
Whole30 Day 22
Whole30 Day 22 Breakfast: banana, roasted red potatoes, carnitas and greens with coffee (
Whole30 Day 22 Lunch: leftover chipotle (no rice) with the Whole30 approved Dump Ranch dressing
Wanted to share this verse with you all!
Whole30 Day 23
Whole30 Day 23 breakfast: Coffee + Banana
Whole30 Day 23 Lunch: Ground Beef, Cilantro, Sweet Potatoes, Cauliflower Rice and Whole30 approved ranch
Whole30 Day 24
Whole30 Day 24 Breakfast: roasted broccill
Whole30 Day 24 Lunch: avocado with carnitas and sweet potatoes (and I cheated and had some waffle fries b/c of work related stress…but they are potatoes right???)
Whole30 Day 25
Whole30 Day 25 Breakfast: 1/2 Mango, Avocado *mashed* with scrambled eggs + roasted red potatoes (with coffee + Doterra Vitamins)
Whole30 Day 25 Lunch: Sweet potatoes with Jim N Nicks BBQ Chicken + Pulled Pork and some leftover roasted Broccoli
Whole30 Day 26
Whole30 Day 26 (before the 2nd day of Presidential weekend at work) // Coffee, egg whites, sausage, roasted red potatoes + Doterra vitamins (I didn’t eat the pear)
Whole30 Day 26 // a grilled chick fil a chicken breast wrapped in lettuce (I got fries….b/c they don’t make me sick and Waffle Fries are my #1 justification during Whole30)
Whole30 Day 27
Whole30 Day 27 Breakfast: coffee, apple slices with almond butter from trader joe’s, doterra vitamins, and Whole30 approved protein bar
I ran 9 miles today = wanted to share Day 27’s victory! Also, my hair is growing out!
Whole30 Day 27 Lunch (post run lunch)// Ty made me a hamburger so I wrapped it with lettuce and had roasted cauliflower on the side (and I anointed it with lots of Mustard!)
Whole30 Day 28
Whole30 Day 28 Breakfast: A banana with coffee and my Doterra Vitamins (pretty plain, but it has become my go-to on busy days)
I had to take Bella to the Doctor to get shaved b/c she is getting really sick b/c of her matted fur…so I put her on the conveyer belt after her cleaning, and she looked hysterical! Day 28 has been funny
Whole30 Day 28 Lunch: Chipotle Lunch bowl with lettuce, chicken, cilantro and Whole30 approved Ranch!
Whole30 Day 28 Lunch: Sunflower seeds
Whole30 Day 29
Whole30 Day 29 Breakfast: Sweet Potato with Pork Sausage Scramble and a Banana with coffee (oh and I had chocolate Almond milk b/c I had worked out and needed that refuel)
You know it!!!!
How I feel most days during Whole30
Whole30 Day 29 Lunch: Stuffed Green Bell Peppers for lunch (it was alright….)
Whole30 Day 29….OH YES I DID!!!!!!! If I can’t have a donut or a cookie…I’m having a Larabar!
Whole30 Day 30….I thought you’d never come
Whole30 Day 30 Breakfast: 1/2 Sweet Potato with Breakfast Pork Sausage, Coffee, Raspberries
Whole30 Day 30 Lunch at the Lipscomb Cafeteria: Spinach, Carnitas, Fries, and Slaw (no Mayo based)
Current Mood b/c I’m DONE WITH WHOLE30