Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 30 of Whole 30

I can't believe these 30 days are over - they went by so quickly! The beginning of this journey was not easy, but as the days ticked by it became increasingly easier to eat according to Whole 30. I know Andrew hated this whole process, but he was pretty well behaved through this whole thing (except for a few purposeful slip ups). Andrew can't be more excited about reintroducing bread and pasta back into his diet, me on the other hand, I think I will just do without. 

I'm actually finding eating strictly Paleo really easy, and freeing. It's easy because there's no guessing what I can and cannot eat. Meat, fruit, veggies, and nuts...that's pretty much it. If it has sugar in it, I can't have it. It's that simple. It's freeing because of the simplicity. I can't eat the same crap that I love eating. Cookies? No, can't have them. Cheese-its? No thanks, they aren't on the plan. 

Doing this for 30 days has really opened my eyes to see all of the crap that I would normally eat without even thinking about it! Not only that, but I feel great, I look great, and I lost 12 pounds! Just icing on the cake!

Shameless selfie because I actually did my hair today!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Watson Lake Hike

A friend and I went on a hike this morning around Watson Lake. We started bright and early so we could hike around the whole lake before she had to take her daughter to church. 

We started our loop with smiles and went on our way. 

We had to stop and take some photos of this incredible looking tree! 

Here it is again overlooking the lake. 

Silly hiking selfie. 

The weather here has been so amazing (well except for yesterday) and all the cacti have been sprouting flowers! Our hike was riddled with these beautiful plants. 

Climbing up out of the riparian zone. 

Beautiful view of the dells. 

This really was a beautiful hike! Near this section of the trail there's a few houses. What I wouldn't give to have this beautiful scenery out my front door!

Before our loop met up with the Peavine trail there was some seriously gorgeous panoramas! 

Another shameless selfie! 

When Andrew and I first moved to Arizona I never thought I would like it. I wasn't outdoorsy or active and there's not much else to do here if you aren't interested in those things. I figure all of the desert was the same - boring landscapes and too hot to handle. Prescott has really changed my mind about Arizona and being outdoorsy. I still can't get over the beautiful vistas I see everyday. The more I get outdoors the more I fall in love with our new home. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Flowers

A couple months ago Andrew and I attended a local Bridal Expo to get our last few elusive vendors (you know the little things like a florist, a photographer...). There wasn't much advertising leading up to the expo and we live in a small town, so we weren't expecting much. How wrong we were. We arrived 2 hours before the expo was due to end and only made it to one room out of three!

Regardless, we were able to score some of our favorite vendors, like a florist and a photographer! We literally stumbled onto our florist in the most perfect way. Andrew and I had already made our way around the outside of the room and were on the inside leg when we both stopped for the same reason - we had spotted a bouquet almost exactly what we were looking for.

It was this beautiful bouquet...succulents and roses. I kid you not, it stopped us in our tracks! Donna from Prescott Personal Touch Flowers was amazing and answered all our questions! Andrew was so excited he actually set up a meeting for us right there! Ha! And who says the groom is never involved in the wedding?

We've now met with Donna and her partner a couple times and we are very excited to see our wedding flowers. They are going to be very cool.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day - Lake Clean Up

In honor of Earth Day, and for a class assignment, the boy I tutor decided to spend his time today cleaning up trash from one of the local lakes. 

Look at those beautiful granite dells! Love them.

Glad I changed into my jeans - the wind picked up and got a little chilly.

He did such a good job filling up his bag. 

Spotted these lovely daisies and desperately wanted to make a daisy chain!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Brunch - Whole 30 Style

Andrew doesn't like mornings very much, but lucky for him I'm typically a very early riser! Since I had an extra few hours on my hands, I wanted to make something new for Easter brunch. Andrew doesn't like sweet things for breakfast (no pancakes, muffins, or anything delicious) and Whole 30 doesn't allow for any of those things, so instead I got creative (and went to Pinterest for inspiration). I found this delicious recipe for a Sweet Potato Quiche from Grok Grub and decided to give it a go.

First up was to peel 3lbs of sweet potatoes! This meant peeling the entire bag from Trader Joe's! I thought it seemed a little excessive to peel that many potatoes, but I'm a rule follower and that's what the recipe called for! 

All my sweet potatoes peeled and cubed. This shot isn't very good at showing depth, but trust me this pile of sweet potato goes on for a while!

Here they are all lined up on the world's largest baking sheet. But I didn't care, I love sweet potato so how could you go wrong with 3lbs!?

While the sweet potato is in the oven becoming delicious, cook up some bacon and try not to burn the house down (seriously does anyone else's kitchen get smoked out from cooking bacon!? Ridiculous).

Next add eggs from a hoard of chickens. It's always amazing to me how many eggs are called for in Paleo/Whole 30 recipes. Don't get me wrong, I like eating the unfertilized fetus of another animal, but 10 eggs is quite excessive. Wouldn't you agree?

Well here it all is in my square pyrex. It turns out I don't actually own a pie dish. It's quite remarkable, but true. So I used the next best thing I could find, and good thing too because all those sweet potatoes barely fit in the pyrex!

And three hours later I finally got to eat this delicious quiche. Even Andrew liked it, but did give a few notes:

  • Why are there so many sweet potatoes?
  • This would actually be amazing if there wasn't an entire farmers market worth of sweet potatoes in here.
  • Next time add more bacon. And sausage. Just more meat in general.
  • Really this is quite good.
  • Less sweet potatoes though.
So there you have it: more meat, less sweet potatoes. Overall pretty good for Easter brunch. I don't think I would make this every weekend because it was quite time consuming, but definitely once a month or so!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tough Mudder Done and Dusted

This past weekend I was able to conquer Tough Mudder in Phoenix with the help of my fellow crazy friends from Captain CrossFit!

The majority of our group were smart and went down on the Friday night. Andrew and I opted instead to drive down Saturday morning. That's a screen shot of my phone right after I woke up. Yup...4.30am wake up call. That's the price you pay for living in the middle of nowhere, it takes you forever to get to the closest big city!

Repping my Captain CrossFit team tank and our bag of goodies! Since Andrew and I are on Whole 30 we had to bring our own snacks to make sure we didn't go off plan! 

This is our whole Captain CrossFit crew! Little did we know what was awaiting us on the other side!

Mile 1 of our 11.2 mile course! Pretty sure I got swamp foot right around here!

The partner carry. I was actually enjoying this, not that my face shows it.

This one was called "Balls to the Wall"! It looked much more intimidating than it actually was. There were foot holds nailed into the wall so you were able to get your footing and then pull yourself up.

Ha, the look on my face is priceless. This one actually surprised me the most! I have never been able to do monkey bars - not even as a kid - and I was actually thinking about walking around this one, when I told myself to at least give it a try. At the very worst I would drop into that disgusting looking water.

So I gave it a go and was completely shocked when I past the third rung. I knew then that I could do it as long as I kept going!

Probably the proudest moment of my day! Definitely worth the hand pain.

This one is around mile 9, right before we had to walk the plank. Thank goodness too because I was caked in mud at that point! 

Electro Shock - the one obstacle that most people are afraid of! It wasn't really all that bad, except I did get hit on my back right at the very end. Definitely wouldn't say it was a pleasant feeling, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I had hyped it up to be.

After completion, beer in hand, and ready to pass out! So happy that I had such a supportive team with me the whole way! I definitely don't think I could've gotten through without these guys!

At this point I was exhausted and beat up. Had to take a selfie to commemorate the event (especially in my swanky new headband), but I couldn't stand to be covered in mud anymore. After we completed I showered, changed, and headed straight to the car!

One of our members had organized us well since we were all staying in the same hotel. We managed to commandeer the outdoor BBQ space and cooked up some delicious tri-tip! Everyone else ended the night by celebrating a teammates birthday with cake, while Andrew and I chewed on some carrot sticks! 

And lastly, here is a compilation of all my major traumas brought on by Tough Mudder: a ripped hand courtesy of the finger hang, two feet with blisters from swamp foot around mile 1, and scrapes and bruises from the mud mile! Super sexy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Whole 30

Poor Andrew was dragged into another one of my crazy ideas! If you're in any sort of contact with Andrew I'm sure you've heard him moan about this insane diet I have him on! In full disclosure he did choose to do this with me; I never forced him!

This all started at CrossFit. I'm running a Clean Eating Nutrition Challenge for our members. We were supposed to start a challenge of this sort earlier in the year, but it never took on. Finally, one of the coaches and I decided to take the reins and build our own challenge. The basic premise for the challenge is no processed foods and no added sugar. Sounds simple enough right? Well it is.

Unfortunately (for Andrew) before this challenge even started another coach recommended I read the book "It Starts With Food". This book was written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the co-creators of the Whole 30 plan. Essentially it's a much, much stricter form of Paleo. Really it's an elimination diet so that people who have consistent gut problems can find relief, a cure, or the culprit of those issues. I figured that it would be a great idea for Andrew and I to do this plan since A) Andrew has a few gut issues, but refuses to figure out the culprit; and B) I have a serious addiction to sugar and can spare to lose a few pounds before the wedding. 

So I presented the idea of doing Whole 30 to Andrew under the guise of the CrossFit competition and the ability to possibly win some cool prizes. Who wouldn't want to get rewarded for shedding a few pounds and becoming healthier? He begrudgingly agreed and has been whining about it ever since!

We are now 1 week into Whole 30 and we can already see a difference in our bodies (and our guts)! We both are still having strong cravings for the foods we're used to eating like bread and rice, but everyday gets a little easier. It's actually been pretty nice being so conscious about our food choices. Normally we wouldn't think twice about eating processed foods or candy or chocolate, but now we have to scrutinize everything that goes in our mouths.

I'll keep you posted on how week 2 is working out for us! I can already foresee more whining and complaining! Haha!