The Halfway Point (almost)

How I Feel: It changes day to day. I felt great coming into Crossfit on Monday. I had spent the day in English Department meetings and I hadn't thought about teaching in months and I was truly excited about it. I felt happy Tuesday morning. I just ... felt happy. I love looking at this when I'm wandering around during a break at work:

I was walking around the other day and saw that and smiled because it was a beautiful day. Other days I'm not so great. Like today, I don't know. It rained, which is good. But I'm feeling kind of bummed out right now. Don't know why. I've also felt super-awkward in social situations lately. Not totally new, but kind of annoying.

Also for the first time I started maybe possibly potentially feeling leaner. I don't know. Not today. Today I made this for 'brunch'
That's pretty starchy for me. Sweet potatoes and bananas? Geez! I've been full all day. (Yes, that's the Tigers game in the background. Yes, the playoffs start next weekend. Yes, the Tigers need to make it past the first round if I want to have a beer and cheer them on. Yes, I think they will make it.)

What I Fear: My biggest accomplishment in all of this is that I'm making my own food and not getting take out. I love Ron's Island Grill and a good Yumm bowl. The Whole 30 is hardcore. I'm not going out to eat at all this month (until I have to travel in a couple weeks). I don't trust anyone! I'm not afraid of binging when we're done, but I am worried that I'll go back to old habits. How long does it take to get over being lazy?

Challenges Ahead: I start teaching on Tuesday, which means I'll be gone all day (Tuesdays and Thursdays) between 7:30 and 4 and attempting to Crossfit straight from teaching (and driving). Which means I need to be a super planner. I boiled some eggs tonight. I don't have a ton of 'snacking' veggies in the fridge, so that may be a problem. But I need to be ready for snack, lunch, and pre-workout snack. Can't Crossfit on an empty stomach.

Crossfit Thoughts: I worked out 5 days in a row this past week. Maybe that's overkill. Whatev. I can handle it. And on my fifth day, I PRed on my clean and jerk. FINALLY! I've been trying to get 110lbs. overhead since April. I was sore most of the week from excessive front squats on Monday. Also got a rope climb for the first time but that was more skill-oriented. Not ready to attribute anything to change in eating. Feel some more PRs coming on soon.

This seemed to be the week that people ate everything in front of me - cookies, ice cream, whatever. That ice cream sounded good. No real cravings to report. My mind is set on finishing this.

Here are my grocery trips for the week:
Market of Choice (9/18)

  • Almond Butter
  • Eggs
  • Salsa
  • Steak
  • Ground Beef

Total: $18.25

Trader Joe's (9/21)

  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Salad Mix
  • Kale (yuck. I'm done with kale)
  • Spinach
  • Apples (4)
  • Bananas (3)

Total: $11.59

Trader Joe's (9/23)

  • Eggs
  • Cantaloupe (yum. I love cantaloupe)
  • Avocados (2)
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Salad Mix
  • Bell Peppers (organic)

Total: $14.83

Market of Choice (9/25)

  • Steak
  • Almond Butter
  • Cumin (bulk)
  • Salsa
  • Canned Organic Pumpkin (2)
  • Ground Turkey
  • Ground Ginger (bulk)
  • Eggs
  • Apples (4)
  • Onion Powder (bulk)
  • Oregano (bulk)
  • Crushed Red Pepper (bulk)
  • Poultry Seasoning (bulk)
  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Coconut Milk (2)
  • Walnuts (bulk)

Total: $41.08
Coffee throughout week: $6.50
Dinner at Gabe's/Crystal's: $5.00

Whole 30 Total: $288.60
And I think I'm done for a while as far as groceries go. I'm going to use what I have and make it through the week, at least. I still have frozen chicken and fish I need to use. I'm tired of salad. I need a break from that. I also have access to fresh veggies that I need to take advantage of. Obviously, with all the spices purchased, I'm following a recipe. Time to be more adventurous, especially if I'm going to carry this forward on day 31.


Sit With It

Currently, I'm sitting outside on a lovely Sunday afternoon. It's quiet. My dog is sniffing around the yard. The sun is out. It is, indeed, lovely. Normally, to make it more lovely, I'd have a glass of wine. Or some cheese and crackers. Or something classy (like me :p). But not today. I have water. I know I have food to cook tonight. I'm fine just sitting here, enjoying the day.

A wise woman I work out with did the Whole 30 for three months. She says one of the most significant effects it had on her was denying what she wanted. Most of us just eat what we want. We understand that bad choices will effect us later on, but we still eat what we want to eat. We have a bowl of ice cream, or popcorn, or protein shakes, or a glass of wine. But we don't need them.

I think a lot of Americans still have the kid mentality "I want, I want, I want" and then they get it. They have a hard day at work and think, 'A big plate of pasta would make me feel better.' It doesn't. Not really. 'Maybe this sugary coffee drink would do the trick.' No, not really. The problems will still be there.

The Whole 30 makes you sit with it. There have been a few times this week when I have felt stressed or sad or lonely and I wanted to eat or drink something, but I haven't. I would sit with it. And it's not easy to really feel those feelings.

I also had a couple times last week where I did eat when I wasn't hungry anymore. I was eating healthy, but I wanted to keep eating. The difference was that I knew what I was doing. I was hyper-aware of it. I'm hoping this will fade (the eating, not the awareness).

I was asked in a meeting today, by people who are older than me, how I'm so calm and collected and grown up at 33.


(Um, I had to?) So obviously these people don't know me that well. But I felt I could connect it with this because I'm not (always) quick to react emotionally. I'm learning to think about it. Process it. Then react.

Food is something that can buffer all of that. It takes us out of the emotion just for a while. It helps us feel something else. It prevents us from processing what we need to process.

We're all doing this for different reasons. I realized yesterday that at the end of the 30 days, I'll be in my purest form. I won't have any alcohol, sugar, or junk. I also haven't been on any medication for a while. Who you see in a few weeks is who I really am. I don't want to make more out of this than it is, but I'm kind of excited to see who we all are in a few weeks.


The Cost, Part Two

We are currently on Day 6 of the Whole 30. It's fine. It's a lot of thinking and a lot of deciding and a lot of mindfulness. It's good for us. Here's my grocery rundown, followed by my thoughts on this week.

Trader Joe's (9/13)

  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Ground Turkey
  • Strawberries (1 lb)
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Organic Applesauce - Unsweetened
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Organic Gala Apples (3)

Total: $18.33
Notes from Trader Joe's: I like these Persian Cucumbers. They're super crunchy. But I probably don't need to buy them for the next few weeks due to gardens exploding around me. The bell peppers ... Well, when I cut one open, it didn't look quite right inside and I'm picky about how my food looks. The other one was fine. 

Market of Choice (9/15)

  • Steak
  • Nutmeg (from bulk)
  • Salad Mix ("bulk" produce?)
  • Raisins (bulk)
  • Eggs

Total: $10.45
Notes from MoC. This wasn't really a 'planned' trip. Thursday was rough. My stomach wasn't really feeling well pre-workout and I was just plain irritated post-workout ... and hungry. Regarding the salad mix from Market of Choice, I ended up tossing some of the salad I got from Costco. I just can't eat that much. I would rather buy the amount I need and not throw some out than buy more than I need and feel bad for not eating it. Give me a break here. I can only eat so much salad.

Coffee from Espresso stand (9/16): $2

WinCo (9/17)

  • Organic Salad Mix
  • Frozen Blueberries (not organic ... grrr!)
  • Brazil Nuts (bulk, .23 lb.)
  • Dates (bulk, .23 lb.) 
  • Kiwi x3
  • Walnuts (bulk)
  • Carrots, organic (1 lb)

Total: $11.09
Notes from WinCo: Wow,  there is some bad hair in this place. Like, tight curly nastiness. Also noticed people buying cans of Hormel Chili and felt bad. Considering its location, not really worth the trip for me. I forgot about the almond butter because I didn't make a list. Managed to find a few organic veggies, but not enough to make it worthwhile. Also, dog food cost the same as in Target. 

So after I went to WinCo, I was hungry and getting cranky and I was all the way across town. I considered going to the Saturday Market, which probably would have made me crankier. I wanted to get some steak to make for lunch and dinner. Maybe some more apples and broccoli. I was getting in a mood. Instead of going a little out of the way to Market of Choice, where I know I would have been able to get steak and whatever, I went to Trader Joe's.

Trade Joe's (9/17)

  • Frozen Blueberries (organic, wish I would have waited)
  • Chicken (ugh, shoot, this was just bad planning)
  • Apples (gala, organic, x3)
  • Cut Organic Broccoli (my splurge)
  • 3lb Bag of Organic Sweet Potatoes

Total: $17.95
Notes on Trader Joe's: At WinCo, people move out of the way. At Trader Joe's (at least today), they wanted to stand in front of the food I wanted and look at every single little detail. Ugh, hippies. The only good thing about this trip was that it was at about the start of the game so it wasn't as busy as it would have been. I couldn't find a cut of steak that I wanted, I'm not a big fan of pork, so I had to go with chicken. I should have taken some of my frozen chicken out of the freezer yesterday, but I didn't. Planning!! Also, I didn't get the almond butter there because it said it was made in a plant that also processed soy. I'm just going to pretend that I'm allergic this month. It's a cleanse. It also means I'm almost out of almond butter. I may have to run to MoC later. It goes quick.

Total for this week: $59.82
Whole 30 Total: $186.35

Thoughts on Shopping: I need a list. I need to think about what I'm going to eat in the next few days. I knew this going in and this has been a weakness thus far. One step at a time. I'm making my own food. I'm saying no to things I would normally take. I'm trying. I'm learning. On the plus side, I'm eating all my food (except salad mix). This is big for me. My laziness sometimes results in waste, and I shouldn't do that. I know better. 
Thoughts on My Life: So my big obstacle for the week is that I had to move out of my place mid week. This made for some interesting challenges. My kitchen was the last room to move. I had to make myself breakfast the morning I had to be out. I had to determine what pans and dishes I would need. When I was finished cleaning Thursday morning, it was around noon and I really wanted to go to Cafe Yumm and get a Yumm bowl. But I knew I had leftovers that I could heat up, and that's what I did. This week has been about choices. 
Thoughts on How I Feel: Fine. I'm OK ... today. Thursday (day 4) was bad. My stomach was not happy. I had trouble sleeping earlier in the week, but I attribute that to stress. Some people have had similar reactions. Some people feel great! Wonderful! PRing all over the place! I know I'll get there. We all will. That's why this is a 30 day program. Feeling a little down today, but that's OK. It happens.
Thoughts Going Forward: Yes, now that I'm slightly stable (well, I'll have to move again soon), I'll have more of an opportunity to plan ahead (I didn't even have internet in the house before, so that will help enormously with planning). 

It looks like people are eating some good food out there. I will not post pictures of mine because it doesn't look like food porn. Honestly, just making my own food and not grabbing a Luna bar is progress. It's big progress.


The Cost, Part One

If you know me, you know I generally have no problem telling other people how to run their lives. As I get older, I get more honest. It is time to be honest with myself.

I said I would document how much I spend on food this month. I wanted to do this because so many people say that eating healthy is too expensive. To have this mean anything, I had to look at how much I’ve spent on food this past month so I could compare. It’s time to put things into perspective.
  •        I shop at Market of Choice. I’ve tried going to Safeway, but organic fruit costs less at MoC and I trust the meat at MoC.
  •        I’m on my own now and still getting used to being completely on my own, i.e., buying food and necessities.
  •         It was my birthday this month. Lots of celebrating.
  •         I went out a lot this­ month – probably more than usual.
  •         But no excuses, right?

So after adding up my grocery and dining out expenses, including random trips to MoC, drinks, ice cream, protein bars, lunch, whatever, I came up with the rough estimate of: $500.

Which seems like a lot. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. (Maybe I should keep track of these things) I could tell you the exact percentage of my paycheck that entails, but I do leave some things private. I don’t like that total (and honestly, it’s probably more), and I’d like to decrease it by 20%. It’s about $16.66 a day to feed me, drinks included. I can do better.

So I had my first Whole 30 shopping trip yesterday. I probably didn’t go out armed with as much of a plan as everyone else, but I did have an idea of what I wanted to get. The first stop is a place I haven’t been to in years.

Yesterday, I went to Costco. I am not interested in 99% of what is in Costco. But I was curious to see if I could find anything on my shopping list – I did! (and it helps to have a friend who has a Costco membership who’s also doing the Whole 30)

Organic Tomato Paste – Ingredients – organic tomatoes. Bingo! 12 pack split with superfriend. Cost =$3
Avocadoes – A big bag of them for $7.99. They’re not ripe yet, but they will be someday!
A big bag of fish (Mahi Mahi to be exact) - $16.99. I’m not sure what to do with them, but they’re frozen and individually wrapped. I know I’m supposed to eat them.
A big bag of almonds - $9.79. 3#, I think. I divided them up into Ziploc bags when I got home.
A big bag of garlic – split with superfriend. $2.40. If anyone wants to make out soon, you might want to take a rain check. I have a lot of garlic!
A big bag of lemons – split with superfriend. $3. Again, not quite sure what I’m doing with all these lemons.
A big container of salad mix - $3.99. I know for sure that this costs more at MoC, and the one I got is still organic – good! I need to eat all this. I’m bad at eating my greens.
A lot of chicken - $21.92. OK, this was my big find of the day. Costco has big packs of Foster Farms chicken that has 2 breasts per pouch and like, 6 pouches … for $21.92. I cooked up a couple pouches last night and put the rest in my freezer. This was a good deal.
Total Costco (food) expenditures: $69.08.

So I’ll be using a lot of lemons, garlic, avocadoes, and chicken in the next week. I had to get something to go with all that, so onto Market of Choice, where I can feel all uppity. Here’s what I got:
  •         Apples
  •         Almond butter
  •        Coconut Aminos (in lieu of Soy Sauce, will be trying these tonight)
  •        Sardines
  •        Kale
  •        Yams
  •       Bananas (3, they were on sale)
  •       Flaked coconut (from bulk section)
  •        Pistachios (from bulk section) (I ate some today, not all, which is a step in the right direction)
  •        Peaches
  •        Broccoli
  •        Sunflower seeds (bulk section)
  •        Bell Pepper
  •        Small steak
  •        Eggs (dozen)
  •        Balsamic Vinegar
  •        Coconut oil
  •       Red Curry Paste
  •        Coconut Milk (x2)

For a grand total of: $57.45
Total for the day: $126.53

Not bad for one day. I got a lot of the oils/condiments/weird stuff I’ll be using the whole month. I’ll need to go back in a few days and get some more produce. But I’m feeling good about this. I’m also open to suggestions for other places to try (WinCo, Albertsons) … whatever has the best deal for the best quality. Unless a fruit or vegetable has a strong peel, I’ll probably want to get it organic. But I probably won’t want another big shopping trip until payday at the end of the month. It takes a lot to feed this shrinking girl.



The idea of this Whole 30 challenge is to reset your system. Get all the sugar and gunk out. I think many of us are taking this a few ways.

Yeah, we've been getting away with thinking we're all that because we show up at the box and we do our workouts and we PR sometimes and we're awesome. But some of us are not making the progress we'd like to make. So to those of us embarking on this, I suggest reading this classic Crossfit Journal article, "Getting off the Crack." I like what she says towards the end:
"I had never experienced so directly and consistently the practice of not giving up when it gets hard. Every time I entered my kitchen I had the opportunity to fail. It would have been so easy. But I didn’t, and I cannot describe emphatically enough the rewards—both physical and mental— that getting through that has brought to my life."
It's a good read. 

I'm not going to use this blog to chronicle what I'm eating, as I'm guessing what you're eating will look and probably taste better. Instead, I'm going to chronicle what I spend on food this next month. Americans use the excuse of cost to not eat healthy. I understand. I may have to look at what I've spent this past month to compare. I don't like doing that and I may guesstimate, but I'll try to figure it out. I do shop at Market of Choice. I don't even know what to do in a Safeway anymore. But you'll see what I spend, and hopefully, it will be about equal to what I spend on the junk.

And good luck to all of us - next week. Until then, the frozen yogurt shops will know me by name. 


This is Such a Bad Idea

Seriously, do you realize how bad I eat? I know the Whole 30 is coming up. I know I've gained weight. I know what I'm going to have to do and how angry I'll be during this challenge. Knowing this, you know what I did yesterday after the workout? I went to get groceries ... when I was hungry. And guess what was on sale ... with coupons sitting in front of them?
You don't know how bad my willpower is. It's non-existent. I'm doing challenge for good reasons - to challenge myself, to feel better, yada, yada, yada...., but it will be tough. But most things worth doing are difficult, right?

The old blog has been revived - Eat Like You Mean It - as a support system, since we're not alone. I will be calling people for help with this. If I have your number, you'll hear from me. And I won't be happy.