Whole 30, Days 29 & 30 – It’s a Wrap (but hardly over)

Hard to believe, but we’re at Day 30 of the Whole 30 Challenge. Was it challenging? Oh yeah. Rewarding? Absolutely. And honestly, now that it’s over not much will change. We’ll probably turn down a glass of red wine, I’m definitely having a coconut bliss bar and Dave will likely tear into a bag of rice chips, but then really, we’ll be back to Whole 30 eating.

This whole experience was really an introduction to eating primal for us – and we love it. Neither of us have any intention to reverting back to old ways of eating. We’ve learned a lot about our cravings and what they mean. We’ve organized our food shopping and prep to minimize time in the kitchen. We’ve come up with a gaggle on new most-loved recipes and we feel better than ever physically. Will we never indulge again? Of course not. We’re human and we love food. But our attitudes have definitely changed.

I knew this for certain when I moved the stove out the other day to sweep behind it. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you what I found – a Christmas cookie. And not a home-baked, so good your eyes roll back in your head, to-die-for cookie. Just some store bought processed piece of white flour and sugar junk. It made me realize that while there may be cookies in my future, they won’t be this kind. If I am going to put something in my mouth I know full well won’t support my health and fitness goals, it damn well better be the most delicious, decadent, divine version of whatever it is. It better nourish my soul and my senses if it’s not going to nourish my health. And for me, I think that’s the biggest reward of all, coming to this new place of thinking about my diet.

Now where’s my corkscrew…?

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Whole 30, Day 15 – What’s In & On Our Fridge

Fridge full of prepared food

If a picture is worth a thousand words, have a gander at our packed fridge. We spent most of Sunday afternoon and evening in the kitchen preparing food for the days ahead.

Last week we were in the kitchen every night.Not this week, man! We’re going to have a few batch cook nights and rely on high volume dishes like sheppard’s pie and stew, but we’re planning one three nights per week without kitchen duties! To help make that happen, I decided to rearrange the whiteboard on the fridge to track not only what we wanted to cook for the rest of week, but the groceries we’d need to do so and the resulting leftovers we need to eat.

Here’s what we netted for our Sunday efforts: a week’s supply of layered green salads, an apple avocado salad dressing, six portions of a hearty egg casserole with lean beef and turkey sausage, a double batch of chunky tomato salsa, a thick stew made with grass-fed beef and local organic root vegetables and a batch of jerky waiting to go into the dehydrator. It took a little longer than we thought it would, but it feels good to start the week with a fridge full of nourishing food.

Whole 30, Day 14 – Water 2.0

Two hands holding a red and a black Santevia Alkaline Water Energy Flasks

Most people would agree that hydration is important, but we’ve recently discovered the next level of water consumption. No, we’re not talking about a fancy bottled drink with celebrity endorsement. No offense Jennifer, but we’re talking about something much Smarter…taking your own water – even tap water if you want, and changing it into something that not only absorbs better but also alters your body’s pH to a more healthful state and supplies much needed minerals. It’s the Santevia Alkaline Water Energy Flask and it’s one of your new favorite things.

Not only do these stainless steel flasks look good – I especially love how the design on the lids look like the bezzle of an expensive watch, but inside there are two mineral baskets filled with some pretty special stuff:

  • Tourmaline stones to raise the pH to 8.5+
  • Maifan stones to re-mineralize the water by adding iron, zinc, calcium and other beneficial minerals
  • Far infrared stones to energize the water
  • Chlorine reduction balls to reduce chlorine concentration
  • Negative potential balls to reduce the ORP value, which means more oxygen

Now I’m not going to go and copy a bunch of stuff off the internet about the benefits of drinking alkaline mineralized water. You can do a quick google search and find 1.38 million results. You can even find some skeptics that don’t really think it matters. But here, in a nutshell, is our take.

The most healthful state for human blood and most cells is slightly alkaline – about 7.3 (okay, I DID google that one…). But much of what we eat, including all meat, dairy, grains, sugar, alcohol and coffee create an acidic internal environment. Dairy might surprise some people because we’re often (wrongly) told to drink milk for heartburn. Other things that contribute to acidity include stress, pollution and environmental toxins, physical exercise and even some normal metabolic functions. So what’s the problem? The problem is when our bodies become acidic, our cells get less oxygen, cellular function is compromised, and pretty much every diseases, disorder and parasite thrives in the acidic, anaerobic environment that’s created.

But our body is pretty clever and figures out ways to keep our blood pH stable. Good news, right? Not so fast, because it does so at the expense of other systems by “pulling” alkalinizing minerals from our bones and other tissues. Talk about a raw deal.

So to us it makes sense to create as alkaline an internal environment as possible. Eating vegetables are GREAT for this – as if you needed another reason to eat your greens, but drinking alkaline water helps too. The only drawback we can see to the Santevia Flasks are they’re relatively small at 380ml (about 12 oz for our American friends). Since we aim to drink 2-3 l (~4-6 pints) per day, we pack around our 1.5l Kleen Kanteen and our Santevia flask. When the flask is empty, we top up and *presto* alkaline, remineralized water within 5 minutes!

Good to the last drop! 🙂

Whole 30, Day 12 Everybody’s (and every body’s) Different

man sprinting on one side, woman asleep at computer on the other side

Guess which one I'm feeling today?

Whole 30, day 11. I was scrolling through the Whole30 facebook page reading posts by people at various stages of this challenge and was amazed (and at times, slightly jealous) of the variety of experiences people are having. There are people feeling “fantastic” after just a few days, boasting of high energy levels and good moods. There are people “Woot”- ing and going on about their clear skin and loose jeans. Hmph. If I had the energy, I’d almost want to hate ’em.

Of course I’m kidding. But I am surprised at how friggin’ drained I am, pretty much all day. Dave’s energy level is pretty stable, but mine is in the toilet. Of course, the facebook page is also full of posts by people feeling equally as lousy, struggling with fatigue and headaches, cravings and bloating…we really are all unique. I thought because our diets were pretty stellar before this great adventure, the transition would be fairly seemless. But I have to remind myself that the body is adjusting, the gut is healing, the metabolism is shifting and these things take time – and energy to process.

The posts I’m most impressed with are those about increased awareness, something we’re really noticing too. My draining day ended with car trouble and having to be rescued by my night in a shining pathfinder. And my first inclination as I stepped through the door was “Could I ever use a glass of wine right!” The correlation between emotions and eating is so obvious now. Dave craves crunch during movies out of habit and boredom, or cookies or apple pie because it would taste “fun”. You gotta ask yourself, what are you really feeding – the body or some other need? If I’m really honest, I’ve often fed my boredom, stress and a need for nurturing with “treats” that never really do the trick.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be one to eat only for survival. I enjoy cooking and love eating way too much to ever consider it merely a means to and end. But the deeper we get into this Whole 30 challenge, the more I suspect we’ll come out of it with a new clarity about our food choices and a new take on what true “nourishment” really is.

Time to hit the sheets. Nighty night all!

Whole 30, Day 11 – Age is Just a Number

This one’s for you Martin!~ 😉

Think you’re too old to get into the best shape of your life? Nonsense!

I present to you first, an article by The Angry Trainer, explaining that we may have to put our hard-earned wisdom to work and trainer smarter if we’re pushing the good side of 40, but by no means does it mean we can’t sport a six pack. Read the article here.

Then, for added inspiration, check out this woman pounding out 55 push-ups…at 67 years young!

And if anyone can translate what she’s saying, we’d love to know! 🙂