15 Things I Learned from the Whole30

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One summer evening when we were headed out to dinner with friends I grabbed my “go to” black top…and it didn’t fit. I just about started to cry. Over the last several years, the pounds have been slowly creeping onto my body.   And as my 6th grader reminded me, a pound is 3,500 calories. Apparently, I’ve been eating and drinking a lot. I knew it was the middle of summer but I couldn’t wait any longer.  I had to get healthy.

When I sat down to write this the day after I completed the Whole30, I was ready to tell you that I would not be doing the Whole30 anytime soon. The first 5 days sucked. I was hungry. I couldn’t figure out what to eat. None of the recipes I was finding in cookbooks sounded good. I was avoiding social events so I wasn’t around wine. I was DYING without Natural Bliss creamer in my coffee. This was going to be a once, maybe twice a year reset.   I was happy to lose a few pounds but I was ready to get back to my wine and my coffee creamer!

Here’s what I learned on the Whole 30.

  1. There is sugar in almost everything…even the things we think are healthy. Read the labels!
  2. Organic doesn’t always mean healthy.
  3. Simple meals are often the best. Grilled meat and veggies rule!
  4. I should’ve done more research before I started. There are a lot of websites out there that recommend specific brands of foods that are Whole30 approved. I found great salad dressings, paleo bacon, and a coffee creamer alternative along the way.  My transition to healthy may have been easier if I knew about these items from the start.
  5. All almond milk and coconut milk are not created equal. 90% of almond milk and coconut milk on your grocery store shelves contain sugar.
  6. It is challenging to be social on the Whole30. I didn’t realize how many cocktails and glasses of wine I consume each month. I found myself avoiding social occasions.
  7. The best place to dine out on the Whole30 is a steakhouse. You can always get a steak and a sweet potato. I spent a week on the road and ate a lot of steak.
  8. A salad without salad dressing is not very good.   You can make your own salad dressing at home but on the road you are screwed. If you are lucky, the restaurant may have oil & vinegar. If not, you are eating a dry salad…yuck.
  9. I believe I have a dairy intolerance. My stomach feels so much better without it. Butter has milk in it…and I don’t like the taste of ghee. And cheese is in almost everything.
  10. I like to read labels now. And if I don’t know what an ingredient is, I don’t want to eat it.
  11. I have a lot more will power than I thought I had.
  12. My friends and family are very supportive…including my kids!
  13. I am training for a half marathon and I believe I need true carbohydrates in my life to run distance.
  14. I don’t miss bread and pasta like I thought I would.
  15. When the 30 days was over, my cravings were gone. I thought I wanted all the things I missed back in my life but I am happy without most of them.

Yes, I popped a bottle of Champagne on the day after I finished.  I lost a total of 7.6 pounds in 30 days and that was every reason to celebrate. It’s been a week since I finished and I haven’t gained any of the weight back.   I’ve had a little wine. I’ve had a sandwich. I’ve had butter. I’ve had dessert. None of it tasted as good as I thought it would and even made me feel not that great. I don’t think I will be as strict as I was on the Whole30 but I do believe I will adopt a Paleo lifestyle.

Have you tried the Whole30? What was your experience?  Please share!

5 Easy Tips to Save Money Right Now

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We are way into summer and some of you are probably getting ready to start school soon. It’s amazing how fast memories of laughter, lazy days and margarita lunches fade. As I cleaned out my wallet the other day and realized it was empty, I decided it would be a good time to attack the financial health of our home. This is something I’ve been avoiding. I pay the bills each month but don’t really have my arms around our financial health. This is such an overwhelming project to me so I am going to break it down and start small…where can I save some money.

Chances are if you have children, you are always trying to figure out a way to save money and cut costs. I don’t remember anyone ever telling me how expensive these little monkeys were going to be EVERYDAY.   I bet I save $30 if I don’t take them to Target with me!  Here are a few quick and easy ways to cut costs right now.

  1. Make a list of any subscriptions and memberships you have. Cancel what you are not using. My list is at 35 and counting. I am sure there is something I am forgetting. To date, I will save over $500 a year. I had an old email address was costing me over $250 a year.
  1. Call your cable company. They don’t advertise this but they change promotions every 6-12 months. You have to put it on your calendar and remember to call. I just called mine and reduced my bill by almost $35 a month…a savings of almost $420 a year.
  1. Clear the clutter! Sell your stuff on ebay, craig’s list, nextdoor, let go. I am sure you have lots of stuff around the house that you are not using. LET IT GO! Not only will you have some extra cash and you will feel lighter! So far this year I’ve made over $1,000 and I have a lot more stuff the sell.
  1. Shop your auto insurance. I have to be honest. This is one that I’ve been putting off but I am going to tackle it this month.
  1. Acorns! I love Acorns. It’s an app on my phone that I have set up to save $5.00 a week. You can also do round ups if you link your credit cards if you want to save a little more. It’s amazing how all the little bits really add up when you don’t pay attention to them. I set it and forget about it and now I have $536.77. That’s not too shabby.

If you found these tips helpful or can share some other money saving tips, please leave a comment!

20 Facts About Me That May Surprise You

 

  1. I’ve tried many different hairstyles over the years and want to love my hair long but I LOVE IT SHORT!
  2. I love my nightly glass of wine. I’ve tried to give it up and it never works. I like the taste. I like the ritual. I like wine.
  3. I love the ocean. Growing up in New Hampshire, I was only an hour drive to the ocean and don’t think I could ever live somewhere that I couldn’t get to the ocean within a few hours drive.
  4. I was invited to and attended George H. W. Bush’s inauguration in 1989.
  5. I am my husband’s first and only wife. He is 14 years older than me and I have a stepdaughter.
  6. I love food. I mean REALLY love food. I always search out where we are going to eat when travelling.
  7. I have a tattoo.
  8. When I was a young girl, one of my goals was to travel to every continent and to visit every state in the United States. I am extremely embarrassed to tell you that my passport has expired!IMG_2764
  9. I was Miss New Hampshire Teen USA a very long time ago.
  10. We own a condo in China. Which makes number 8 even more embarrassing.
  11. I need to exercise. I am not in amazing shape. But as I said in number 6, I really love food. It is also a mood stabilizer for me. Over the years I’ve played soccer, beach volleyball, been a member of many gyms, walked, hiked, ran, and now I am loving Orange Theory Fitness.
  12. I started running 3 years ago (I couldn’t even run one mile before…seriously) and have now completed two half marathons and two 200 mile relay races.
  13. My family always comes first.
  14. I was engaged to another man and called off my big, traditional; parents are paying for it wedding two weeks before the wedding date.
  15. I had two miscarriages.
  16. I LOVE movies. I could snuggle up and watch a movie everyday. I have a lot of respect for actors and the way they bring characters to life on the big screen.
  17. I am a closet young adult fiction lover. I loved the Twilight and The Hunger Games series.
  18. One of my big bucket list items is to spend a month in Tuscany. Not like in the movie Under The Tuscan Sun, I’d like to be there with my family.
  19. I have a few great fears in life that I do not want to pass onto my children; flying, sharks and snakes.
  20. I love self improvement and business books.  I’m always listening to one on audible.IMG_1588

So now you know me a little better. What do we have in common? What shocks you? What do you want to know more about? Please leave your comments and let’s start a conversation.