Week Two Wrap Up! {whole 30}

I’m on day 16 today. Ran into some pretty big deficiencies in my food choices and had to deal with those in a manner that did not involve me lying face down on the floor and crying.

You don’t know you’ve lost your coping mechanisms (like cake or Triscuits or soda or pizza) until you run into a hard spot and they’re not there. It’s like jumping and not remembering you moved the trampoline…a little jarring, and you eventually remember and stop going that way ;)

Each day during the Whole 30 process is a learning opportunity. You assess how you feel, figure out what made you feel that way and stop eating it. Our food does aid/abet a lot of our hormone production, which affects our moods…so no more cake binges for me!


Meal one: 2 eggs, half of a really beautiful heirloom tomato with pink sea salt, and Morning Mushrooms.

Meal two: a HUGE salad with yellow pepper, more heirloom tomato and hardboiled eggs.

Meal three: local wild-caught salmon (baked with a lemon slice on top…so delicious) and raw carrots and potatoes.


Meal one: Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Collection sauteed with aminos and ghee, Morning Mushrooms and two eggs.

Meal two: Big salad with walnuts, prosciutto and a chopped heirloom tomato.

Meal three: Two Applegate hotdogs with another sliced heirloom tomato (Chuck stole half of it!) and potatoes.

IMG_9662[1]DAY TEN: 

Meal one: 2 eggs, 3 pieces of compliant bacon, Morning Mushrooms and sauteed Cruciferous Crunch.

Meal two: one can of tuna fish over greens with carrots and some Tessamae’s with half an avocado.

Meal three: Chicken thighs cooked in ghee and coconut aminos, shiitake mushrooms, sugar snnap peas and sunflower sprouts. (THIS WAS SO SO GOOD)


Meal one: 2 Eggs, bacon, potatoes and sugar snap peas.

Meal two: Bento! Almond-stuffed olives, a hard boiled egg, berries and sugar snap peas. THIS WAS NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN. Nope.

Meal three: Chipotle. It was not a good choice – made my stomach hurt really badly. Carnitas with lettuce and green and pico salsa and TONS of guacamole.


Meal one: Mushrooms + sauteed “Healthy 8″ from Trader Joe’s. 2 eggs. Potatoes. Half an avocado.

Meal two: HUGE salad with some gorgeous roma tomatoes. Leftover potatoes. 2 Applegate hot dogs. Berries. Almond-stuffed olives.

Meal three: A big salad with Tessamae’s lemon garlic dressing. One Aidell’s chicken & apple sausage and a pair of eggs.


Meal one: NOT ENOUGH FOOD. I had about a half cup of sauteed veggies, less than the usual amount of mushrooms and 2 eggs. I was still really hungry, so I had berries with some cashew butter about a half hour later.

Meal two: More salads. More hotdogs, and more potatoes. And the last of the sauerkraut, which makes me very sad.

Meal three: NomNomPaleo’s Chicken & Gravy. This is now our regular Tuesday night meal, per Wolfgang’s request :) Big salads and roasted potatoes!


Meal one: Applegate hotdogs with guacamole, sauteed Cruciferous Crunch and Morning Mushrooms.

Meal two: Big salad with plum tomatoes and yellow peppers and potatoes and 2 eggs with guacamole.=

Meal three: 2 Aidell’s sausages, potatoes, big salad with chopped avocado.


What day are you on? How did you do this week?

Jousting with the Sugar Dragon

In the Whole30 life, especially the first round you go through, you may encounter the Sugar Dragon. It’s the beast deep in your belly that demands ice cream. And cake. And chocolate. And all of the sugar forever and ever, AMEN.

And if you do not provide, the Sugar Dragon will huff and puff and burn your FREAKING HOUSE TO THE GROUND SO YOU FEED HIM SUGAR RIGHT NOW.


The Dragon promises you comfort and happiness and tweeting birds and all of the things you dream of when you wish you were perfectly content. It says “fill that void you have with [insert sugary thing here] and everything will be SO AMAZING.”

The Sugar Dragon is the embodiment of your cravings. Sometimes it’s sugar, for me it’s salt. It’s entire boxes of Triscuits. It’s the pretzels from the mall or the pretzels in a bag. It’s cinnamon rolls and croissants and anything associated with my grandmother. It’s the empty promise of comfort in food.

But when you joust with the Sugar Dragon (or whatever form yours takes…mine is the Salty Scottish Banshee and shrieks any time I am near a chip or a fry or a pretzel) you have to be properly armored. You have to wield something to fight off the craving.

Cravings, on average (according to several different websites and articles) last only for three minutes. Can you make it 3 minutes and then reassess? See if something else will fill the “OMG GIVE ME SUGAR” hole?

I’ve been battling my cravings with hand-to-hand combat. I keep compliant fruit leather and Lara bars (I got a box from Costco of both) in my purse for times when I’m pushing it between meals (like Saturdays, when I feed my children lunch and forget to eat myself until I’m horribly hangry). I keep almonds in my car just in case. I almost always carry a water bottle because I find that when I am dehydrated, I want ALL OF THE CHIPS. When I’m angry, I want chocolate. Lots of chocolate. All of the chocolate forever. I know that talking to certain people for more than five minutes sometimes pushes my buttons and makes me want cake.

I recognize all of those, and know if I combat it with a nice cup of herbal tea or a nice big glass of water  or something that IS NOT SWEET (sweet stuff would just feed my sugar dragon and make it angrier next time I don’t feed it), I win.

And it’s all about making that sugar dragon smaller and smaller. See if you can combat it with something that isn’t food. Try a walk or a workout or ten minutes cleaning a space that’s been bugging you or playing with your dog. You have to DO SOMETHING though. Sitting and thinking about cake is not going to help you.

You have to know what grinds your gears. And be ready to fight back. Eventually your Sugar Dragon will get small enough to squish like a bug and it won’t be any big deal.

But at first, it will seem huge. And impossible.

But if I can overcome a serious Cadbury Creme Egg addiction, you can fight your Dragon.

**I am not a registered dietician, a scientist or a doctor. I am not associated with the Whole30 program, other than being a huge raving fan. Take what I have to say with a grain of salt, just like you should with EVERY WORD you read on the internet.

Week one Wrap Up! {whole30}

I have now been whole-30-ing for 9 days. This is 2 days longer than last time (but TBH, I was derailed by the flu with the cherry of a viral infection on top, so that wasn’t entirely my fault that I had to have gatorade or go to the hospital because I was THAT dehydrated).


I am working on some cool printables for y’all (Trader Joe and Costco lists! Woot!) that I could have used when I first started so I wasn’t spending an hour (or more) at the store reading labels. I like to pave paths for people to make it easier on them than it was on me.

So without further ado, here’s What I Ate on Whole30 Week ONE:


Meal one: Mushrooms sauteed in ghee and coconut aminos (get them here on Amazon for a pretty good price), two runny-yolk eggs, half an avocado, some wild-fermented kimchi and coffeeeee.

Meal two: NomNomPaleo’s shrimp and tomatoes, made with shrimp/calamari/scallop mix from Trader Joe’s and a big bowl of blackberries/raspberries with coconut cream on top. (I use this canned coconut milk, and just scoop the good stuff off the top for coffee and berries)

Meal three: I honestly do not remember. I actually didn’t photograph it either. If I could guess, it was probably 2 Aidell’s Chicken & Apple sausages, a big salad and some Tessamae’s.

Let’s take a pause here so I can tell you, Whole30 or not, hie thee to your computer or your nearest store and get some Tessamae’s IMMEDIATELY. They carry it at Costco. Go now.



Meal one: SO MANY of my Morning Mushrooms. May have been too many. Some yukon potatoes sauteed in ghee with Trader Joe’s garlic salt, 2 runny-yolked eggs and two pieces of crispy prosciutto.  I used Martha’s recipe (duh, I love her) and it was ridiculously simple.

Meal two: a salad that was wayyyy too small with Tessamae’s dressing, one egg (again, shorted myself on the protein) and the rest of the prosciutto crumbled on top and a pretty mangled honey mango. I cannot figure out how to slice the damned things. It’s like a puzzle.

Meal three: “fried” chicken (chicken thighs cooked in ghee and salt/pepper and some garlic) and a big salad (SURPRISE!) with more sauteed potatoes.

IMG_9474[1] DAY THREE: 

Meal one: compliant bacon (which is pricey and REALLY HARD TO FIND) with Morning Mushrooms (seeing a pattern?) and potatoes and eggs. And COFFEEEEEE.

Meal two: Applegate (the organic uncured beef) hotdogs, Annie’s mustard and a basic salad.

I only ate two meals on day three. I had a tough day and a meltdown of all parties involved in the chip aisle at the supermarket and we are all ok. The kids ate 4 meals, I had two. We will chalk this up to “learning experience for mom” and leave it be.

Moving on.IMG_9552[1]

DAY FOUR (mother’s day!): 

Meal one: More bacon. Runny-yolk eggs with guacamole on top. Morning Mushrooms (SURPRISE!!). COFFEEEEEE.

Meal two: I actually ate out. We are blessed here with a lot of options on Whole30-friendly restaurants and I found one everybody where wanted to have brunch. I had some potatoes they cooked in canola oil (not optimal, but whatev) and 3 eggs. And 2 tomatoes.

Meal three: this was a tough one, honestly. It was a huge barbecue with hot dogs in buns and chips and desserts….I was smart. I packed ahead of time and had 2 compliant hot dogs with some delicious mustard and a HUUUUUUUUGE salad with lots of extra veggies.

I went to a MOVIE in a MOVIE THEATER! (Last one I saw was FROZEN. I don’t get out much). I took olives and lara bars and the best almonds in the whole world. Almonds are fantastic and I had a huge bottle of water and it was pretty awesome. I didn’t even want popcorn. It didn’t smell good.

Navigated first holiday without too much crazy. Hooray!



Meal one: Eggs. Magic Morning Mushrooms. Cruciferous crunch, crisped up (oops) in ghee and garlic salt.

Meal two: A huge salad. More Tessamae’s. Two runny eggs.  Apples with sooooo much cashew butter.

Meal three: Pork chops and homemade applesauce (recipe = peel and chop apples, throw them and some cinnamon and water in a pan and cook on medium until yummy) and a salad.

This day was tough. I did not want to do this day. Coping without the option of “comfort food” (which usually isn’t even a food, but peanut M&Ms or something not food) is tough when you cannot figure out anything else.



Meal one: I made ketchup. It was REALLY tangy and I accidentally used lime juice, but it was pretty decent. Hashbrowns, a big salad, eggs….but no mushrooms. I ran out. :(

Meal two: Slices Aidell’s Chicken & Apple sausage with leftover potatoes from breakfast, ketchup, kimchi, sliced apples with cashew butter.

Meal three: Crockpot roast from the new Whole30 book, with the squash/carrots/onions on the side. Nomnomnomnom. SO GOOD.



I think this was a very important day. I didn’t finish my breakfast. I was full, so I stopped eating. GENIUS, right? AMAZING.

Meal one: Eggs over potatoes (again, no mushrooms), cruciferous crunch and carrot sticks with cashew butter.

Meal two: Made HOMEMADE MAYO. Mind = blown. Egg salad over potatos and a big green salad with yellow peppers.

Meal three: leftovers from day six.

Week one is under my shrinking belt and I am ready for week two!

Do meal recaps like this help you with ideas on how to manage a Whole30 journey?


**Disclaimer – some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase using the link, sometimes I make a little money. If I make anything from Amazon purchases, it goes to books for Wolfgang or glitter for Chuck.


The Comparison Trap

I come from an extended family where there are a lot of excellent people. Lots of very good lawyers, an orthodontist, an amazing French teacher and various other awesome people. Top performers, award winners, amazingly accomplished human beings.

I am a black sheep.

I try a lot of things and never quite excel at them. I have a lot of fun, but I find myself caught in a constant swirl of comparison. I have said to people several times: “I did ok. I am mediocre compared to my family, though.” Even if I win something.

Lately, I have found myself in a swirl of Instagram comparison. People with their perfect families. People with their engagement photos. Their perfectly arranged and decorated house. Their flat stomachs. Their expensive shoe collection. Don’t get me started on blog comparison – I don’t post regularly enough. My photos aren’t high res. My stats aren’t high enough…..

It’s hard to not get sucked into a sucking spiral of “But your friend [insert name here] has a beautiful house and husband and she’s adorable and her kids are well-behaved and her hair is perfect and she has perfect Christian behavior and…..”

But on the internet (and sometimes in real life!), you only see most lives through filters.

You only see the pieces they want you to see. You don’t get to see the morning hair and the huge fight they had with their husband over Chinese food left out on the counter or the fact that she shoved all the dirty clothes under the bed before you came over or just outside the frame of that perfectly-framed Instagram shot. You don’t see the sticky handprints on the sofa, the half eaten bagel shoved under the couch or the newspaper the dog attempted to eat and then half-barfed onto the new rug.


I posted this photo yesterday on my Instagram account with this caption:

It’s always been hard for me to not compare myself to others. I get caught up in the Internet or my real life friends and what they’re doing and why my photos aren’t that cute or have as many likes or why their #whole30 is going better than mine or their life is more instagrammable than mine.

It’s a miserable existence, putting yourself in that position. The Internet (and life) can be a big soul-sucking awful black hole of comparison if you let it.

So don’t let it. Go do you and don’t worry about how everybody else is doing it. Unless you really need directions, then go watch a YouTube video.

And lots of people responded. It’s been one of my most popular Instagram posts ever.

I think we are all sick of the Comparison Trap.  I think it’s hard for all of us to look through the filters and the staging sometimes to see something we can relate to. We envy, we desire, we covet, but it is really hard sometimes to relate.

So be more real. To everyone and everything. It’s ok to not be ok. You don’t have to Instagram it, but realize that other people everywhere are struggling too.

Love one another more. If Instagram is causing you pain, turn it off. Go be awesome and love one another. The Comparison Trap isn’t worth it.

I’m often stunned by what you don’t see on Instagram. People hurting like Madison Holleran – people who hurt so badly, they can find no other way out.  If you find that the Comparison Trap or anything in your life has brought you to a breaking point, please reach out. There are people who want to help you and we all need more love in this world. 

The National Suicide Hotline is available any time at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or 800.273.8255. 

Sometimes, Things Just Suck.

Things are fine. Nothing is horribly wrong, the kids are awesome and work is great.

But my “fitness life” sucks.

So here’s my deal: I’m trying to put a real face on the strugglebus. Some people just have a tough time. They have baggage or family history or breakups or kids or not enough time or [insert thing that keeps you from doing werk here].

I have a truckload of excuses. I’m a single mom. I’m working a full time job plus trying to stay sane. I haven’t been out with friends without kids in….um….a long time. I don’t remember how long. I don’t have a lot of support (i.e. someone to watch the kids) and with one kid full time and the other part time, I try to maximize the time with my whole family together before Wolfgang is off to college and Chuck’s schedule changes in the fall, and she will have even less time with us than before.

It’s exhausting.

It’s enough that I could quit and just stay unhealthy and angry at my body all the time. I could wear ratty yoga pants and hoodie sweatshirts for the rest of my life.

And I have been, to be perfectly honest.

I have started and stopped the Whole30 every single day this week.

There, I said it.IMG_9369[1]

I’ve been posting beautiful pictures of my breakfast and lunch for the past 3 days….notice there are no dinner pictures? Yeah. I’ve been going way off the deep end for dinner. Last night, I had Pizza Hut pizza. And breadsticks and soda.

And I felt sick to my stomach.

Not because I let myself down. But because, yet again, I failed to complete something. I let The Suck (which really isn’t that sucky, I’ve just been a tiny bit whiny lately) knock me right off track.

And the pizza wasn’t even good.

Sometimes things just suck. They do. And you have to deal with them, there’s no escaping that.

You can blame it on your genetics, you can blame it on your lack of time, you can blame it on a dearth of money, you can cast your blame on a myriad of excuses.

I want to eat excuses for breakfast, along with my fancy eggs and mushrooms and sometimes coffee. I want to stand up on Day 30 and say “I DID IT AND I FINISHED AND YAY!” I want to change my life rather than just going on a diet.

I want to make good choices and stop allowing my endless parade of excuse-bots to sabotage my life.

So yes, sometimes things just suck. And I’m changing my way of dealing with it.