Wellness // Whole 30 Attempts + Tips

Happy Monday! I am a bit late on my weekly post due to a great weekend with my parents. I shared a bit on the blog last week how I am jump starting a new holistic wellness journey. I'm seeking healthy lifestyle habits, strength, confidence and inner peace. I thought this week I would continue along the wellness category since I'm currently doing the Whole30 challenge and am just finishing day 17! WOOOO! I know this is a very common elimination diet challenge a lot of people do so I thought since I am finally past the halfway point I would share some things I've learned so far, tips, staples, and favorite meals + snacks. 

Whole 30 = NO dairy, added or artificial sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, msg, peanuts, or baked goods. 

Whole 30 staples

Here's alllllll the goods. Over the weekend my parents helped me take back a good haul to Spokane. I would say these are my staples for doing Whole30 + transitioning to a lifestyle change. 

  • Avocado Oil. You are definitely allowed to have olive oil, but I am really liking and just feel better about the avocado oil. 
  • Ghee. The best stuff!!! I love this coconut flavored one. This is a better alternative to butter (again, not that butter is all bad for you or you can't have it on Whole30, I just personally dig it). This along with regular coconut oil works great for sautéing veggies. 
  • Primal Kitchen Mayo. *Not pictured* Primal Kitchen is an amazing brand, mostly avocado-based paleo products. I also got a salad dressing from them- it's a game changer! I would buy this at a local Huckleberrys, online at Thrive Market or Amazon. Personally I LOVE Thrive Market. 
  • Almonds + Almond Butter. Filling and full of protein- the best! I put almond butter and sometimes plain almonds in a nutri bullet smoothie to help it be more filling like a meal (along with packing it full of greens). 
  • Avocado. Not much to say aside from avocados are just the BEST. They work with any meal and make everything better. I think I have at least half of one a day. I love putting avo on grilled chicken or dipping steak into homemade guacamole. 
  • Lemons + Limes. I put lemon or lime in almost every meal. Especially with simple salad dressings or for added flavor to meats and dinners. 
  • La Croix. Because duh.
  • Green Tea. I am not a coffee drinker but adore tea. I am making sure to drink even more tea- especially green tea with added lemon!
  • RX + Lara bars. Seriously such a lifesaver for snacks and breakfasts! I would avoid the chocolate flavored Lara Bars because they have some extra sugar. I mostly stick to blueberry muffin or apple pie, but truthfully I just like the RX bars better. I love to put my bars in the fridge so it feels like a cold treat. 
  • Vitamins!!! I have a B12 deficiency and have been neglecting it. Finally realized it is probably a huge reason why my energy levels have been so low. Aside from B12, I have a Super B complex and a women's daily multivitamin. Since programs like Whole30 can really shock your body, it's important to keep it balanced with vitamins. 
  • Frozen Grapes. *Not pictured* but frozen grapes are the best! My friend Hailey showed me this in like high school, but I haven't jumped on board until now. Its a great little 'treat' after dinner. 
  • SPIRALIZER. Seriously the biggest game changer for me. I spent $10 at Homegoods on a small hand-held spiralizer and it is AH-mazing. This is something I will continue to do even after Whole30 all the time. I love to make zoodles (zucchini noodles) or use squash. 

So how are things going you ask? The first five days were surprisingly easy and no biggie. I wasn't craving anything or feeling deprived. I was drinking A LOT of water which always helps. Then days 7-9 were just annoying. I was craving bad foods and just felt discouraged and not motivated to try and make good meals.

But I kept going! Lots of salads and some rather boring meals. My trainer made this sticker for me haha. I love it! It's from Bob's Burgers, but I thought it fit great with everything I have going on right now. All the little changes I'm making all the time are becoming the new me ;)

So let's see, some things I have learned so far... giving up alcohol is pretty easy. A glass of wine or cold IPA sounds freakin' amazing at times, but that's no biggie. I would say the biggest thing is to give yourself grace. Whole30 is a great kickstart refresh for the body. Get rid of toxins and crap food and let your body heal. It can be really hard, annoying and discouraging. Sometimes seeing other people's super successful results is inspiring and at the same times its discouraging because I think, 'well what if I don't have the same results!?' That's OK to be different. Staying focused on how you feel and finishing the commitment is enough. This is a mental battle more than anything else. Remain mindful in all the choices!

Meal time!

I am loving cooking more and more, but yes, there are definitely some days where I am just NOT in the mood and really wish I could get greasy take out. I have not done that and don't plan to ;) Most of the time though I keep it simple, so here are some of my favorite meals (more lunch and dinner) that have helped keep me going during these 30 days! 

 'Tuna salad avocado boats' mixed with Primal Kitchen Mayo on a bed of lettuce. Dressing= olive oil and lemon.

'Tuna salad avocado boats' mixed with Primal Kitchen Mayo on a bed of lettuce. Dressing= olive oil and lemon.

Lots of tuna salads or chicken salads mixed with avocado and Primal Kitchen Mayo. I usually just put it on a bed of lettuce or (pictured below) on top of a bell pepper for a fun, crunchy taste. 

Planning is super important!!! Another great lesson I've learned so far. Going to a friend's or running errands for a few hours- it's important to always have something with you that is Whole30 approved. That way you can avoid the desperate hunger mode where you are willing to give up all of your hard work and eat anything that comes in your line of sight. 

This salmon meal is one of my favorites that my parents showed me! Salmon with an avocado-red onion-mango-lime salsa and whatever sides you want. I boiled corn and sautéed cauliflower and broccoli in my coconut ghee- so so good. 

The ZOODLES!!!! Ah, they are just the best! About one zuchinni makes enough zoodles for yourself. I like to sauté them with lemon and oil for a few minutes to warm + soften them. That helps make it feel even more like pasta. 

BEST MEAL SO FAR!! ^^^^ This is a must try for everyone no matter if you're on Whole30. This has Zoodles, sautéed mushroom, grape tomatoes, shallot and baby shrimp all tossed in an avocado, lemon, oil and basil sauce (mix that in a food processor so it becomes a creamy sauce). On top is grilled chicken and a side of grilled heirloom tomatoes. Delish! 

Keep on keeping on! 

I hope this was helpful or inspiring for someone. If you're thinking about doing an elimination diet like this I say DO IT! Whether it's Whole30 or the JJ Virgin diet (21 days) or whatever, you can do it for such a short amount of time! In the grand scheme of things it's not long + your body will be so happy you did. I'll touch on this again when I successfully complete all 30 days! Thanks for reading as always :) Let me know in the comments if you have better recipe ideas or liked the one's I shared! 

xoxo Sarah

Mindfulness

Cheers to the first of my #MindfulnessMonday posts! I am planning to do at least two Mindfulness posts per month. I'm really looking forward to it. For some who have no idea what I'm talking about yet... keep reading!

What is mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is something I have been learning more and more about the past few years. Basically it is being aware and intentional with a moment in time. Taking the time to notice what's around you, how you are feeling, and truly reconnecting with life. Through mindfulness you can experience peace, contentment, joy, and gratitude. 

Mindfulness is a type of therapy that can help with awareness, sense of self, confidence, energy, as well as help eliminate feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and judgement towards others and situations. 

Practicing Mindfulness can look different for everyone, but one thing remains pretty constant: you choose to enter into a state of being rather than just existing or doing. I feel like a lot of people can relate to the fact that our society is full of workaholics and people who feel like we need to constantly be productive...it is so exhausting! Being productive is wonderful and I truly thrive off of my "to-do lists", but I also thrive off of peaceful + simple moments. 

I love listening to podcasts that talk about Mindfulness while I am on a walk. I notice all the greenery and details in nature. I smile at the sun. I take deep breaths. All these things are so small, but very impactful. What also really helps me is yoga! I  have been a lover of yoga for a while now and every time I am practicing I feel so calm and connected with myself. 

  One of my best friends gave this to me in a "happiness care package". I keep it right at my desk. 

One of my best friends gave this to me in a "happiness care package". I keep it right at my desk. 

For this first #MindfulnessMonday post I wanted to share 5 simple tips for beginning a Mindfulness journey of your own. There are so many things to touch on, but for now I will start with these. I hope you enjoy them and feel inspired! 

Tips for you to try as you begin your own mindfulness journey

  1. Take a deep, slow breath when you wake up & before you close your eyes for bed. Trust me. 
  2. Write down a list of things that you love or inspire you. What are some things that make you feel alive and happiest? How can you squeeze even just one into your day? 
  3. Create an ongoing Gratitude List. Maybe do it at the end of the week. This gives you some intentional "me time" and allows you to remember the good things that are going on in your life. I believe being grateful is one of the most powerful qualities you can obtain. 
  4. Make time to go on a long walk. Go on a walk, not a run. Running is so good for you, but walking is good for the body and soul. It forces you to slow down and notice what's around you. Listen to music or a podcast. Enjoy time to yourself. 
  5. Intentionally listen to a friend. Next time you are having a conversation with a friend or loved one, really be intentional with listening rather than waiting to respond. Listen to what they have to say and be aware of their entire state of being. Notice their unique qualities that make them beautiful or quirky qualities that make you grateful they are your friend. And don't be afraid to tell them! :) 

After trying all of these or even just one- tell me how it goes! I hope this benefits you and brings you peace + smiles. While you are watching fireworks tomorrow for 4th of July, remember to be present in the moment, enjoy the beauty and people around you. 

xoxo SJBS