My Whole 30 Experience and What Went Wrong

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

In my last post, day 8, I was so excited and motivated to complete the full 30 days. This plan sounded like the fix to my problem and something I was going to enjoy doing. I definitely think the plan has its benefits and works but there were some lessons to be learned on my part. There were quite a few people who really stuck to it  and shed some serious inches/pounds and they are looking great and also had shown some serious improvements on the number of repetitions completed in a half-Cindy workout (CrossFit lingo). I am writing this post to follow up and let you guys know the mistakes I made and how you can avoid them, especially if you are interested in trying the program.

How I Crashed and Burned

So on day 9 …….I had one pretty stressful day at the school and on my commute from the school to the gym, I passed the gym right up and ventured to Sonic. I pretty much threw in the towel and had an ice cream cone and a diet coke. I’m not going to lie, the ice cream was phenomenal…the diet coke not-so-much but I gulped it down anyway. After falling off the wagon, I just couldn’t seem to get back on. I went back to eating whatever I wanted and having my deserts without a second thought, which resulted in me feeling sluggish and too tired to exercise. As I watched my fellow Crossfit members post on social media about their successes I began to wonder exactly where did I go wrong.

First of all, I should’ve purchased the actual book “The Whole30: 30-Day Guide To Total Health and Food Freedom”. I think having that tangible source to read, highlight key features, and look through it for recipes and other diet specific questions would have been my saving grace. Although we had a very substantial amount of information available on the internet and through our Facebook group, I am the type who needs it on paper….I know! I know! Get with the times :)

Second mistake– I am not the best cook and honestly all my “healthy” meals tasted like cardboard, most of which required a lot of strange ingredients and ultimately was a waste of money. I know my husband was not going to eat those concoctions I tried to make.

Third mistake– I was so over cooking and making an acceptable meal for the next day. I was spending hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up after the mess I made. Meal prepping on a Sunday afternoon is a must. In a few of my previous blogs I mention this strategy multiple times. It is the only way, I find, to not get completely overwhelmed at first, unless you just have your stuff together when it comes to the kitchen and that is a talent!

My suggestions would be to make sure you are well-educated about, well-prepared for, and have a very clear goal laid ahead of you before embarking on any new dietary programs. I am usually a little OCD when it comes to planning and I know that part of the reason I failed to complete the 30 days was because I didn’t have a good plan for meals that were compliant with the program and also tasted decent. If I try it again, I will be sure to keep my recipes simple and clean, less strange ingredients that I have no idea what to do with, and slowly add some creativity in each week.

I hope this blog was helpful for anyone interested in trying a new plan and I wish you luck in your healthy journey. Any new ideas please comment below.

Thanks for reading

Day 8 of the WHOLE 30 Challenge

 

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So if you were like me, you spent the summer enjoying whatever foods you wanted, especially poolside treats like ice cream, popsicles, hamburgers, etc. Really, I wasn’t that bad of an eater, but still, I didn’t refrain from much. For our “lazy summer” fix, our gym has chosen to challenge one another by completing the Whole30 Program. This has been a really great way to remove certain foods from our diet and cravings that are not necessary for proper body function and health. The slogan “you can do anything for 30 days” is my daily motto. My arch-nemesis’ “Diet Coke”, Starbucks Hazelnut Frapp’s, ice cream, candy, and dessert (yes–not even able to have Splenda) have been the biggest challenges for me so far! On top of it all, we teachers were expected to begin the challenge on the first full week of school! Terrible timing, however no better time to get your life back together.

I along with my Crossfit family are part an amazing Facebook support group and have spent the last 8 days sharing our meal ideas, victories and triumphs, “confessions” , and encouraging words. No one is perfect in this but we are all getting stronger and more in control of the foods we eat. I for one have been able to say no to diet coke and have only drank black coffee and water for the last 7 days. That’s right, I caved..I got a “small” diet coke at the gas station after work today, it was a LONGGG day.. I deserve a good drink, right? To my surprise, I did not enjoy the taste and I felt pretty guilty after. According to the true WHOLE30 guidelines I would have to start over back to day 1 of the program. Bummer….

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However, we have set this plan up for 30 days with a small forgiveness margin and I can’t wait to continue this journey, 22 days to go. Hopefully, I will lose some inches, lose some cravings for junk food, and feel the difference in my performance in the box. Give it a try, check out the above website, it is loaded with information and recipes. Have a great afternoon! Stay healthy!

Do You Make These Healthy Eating Mistakes?

Could some of your healthy eating habits actually be working against your health? Though we may have the best of intentions when it comes to our health, sometimes our efforts aren’t as effective as we think. Consider some of the most common mistakes healthy eaters tend to make.

  1. You rely on marketing, rather than nutrition labels, when deciding what to eat.

Don’t assume that just because a food item is “organic,” “all-natural,” or marketed to athletes, that it’s healthy. Many items marketed as health foods contain just as much sugar, fat, salt, and total calories as foods we’d consider outright unhealthy. Let’s face it: those frozen diet entrees, granola bars, and frozen yogurt cups just aren’t as healthy as you’d hoped; but if you don’t check nutrition labels, you’ll never know. It’s also important to read a food item’s ingredients list; what you might assume to be good for you could actually contain concerning ingredients like partially-hydrogenated oil, MSG, or high fructose corn syrup.

Lori Smith Priest nutrition advice

  1. You forget about coffee calories.

Coffee has been shown to have health benefits, right? Right. But not when it’s consumed with added sugar and sweeteners. While a little milk won’t do much damage, if you’re a coffee drinker that loves your sugar packets, or are an avid customer of big-name coffee chains with enticing mocha lattes, your coffee is no longer a morning pick-me-up: it’s a full on dessert. Be conscious about your coffee consumption and what you put in your drinks, and remember that just one 16 fl oz. Frappuccino contains approximately 60 grams of sugar.

  1. You think exercise is enough.

Exercise is important, yes, but eating healthfully is just as important.  Did you know that it would take 4 hours of jumping on a trampoline to burn off the calories of a large bagel with cream cheese? Or that, on average, it would take about a half hour of running to burn off the calories in a Snicker’s bar? Even the most avid of exercisers might have trouble burning off all of the calories that accumulate with a poor diet. The body also has a harder time processing nutritionally-deficient or processed foods as compared to healthy, natural foods, and exercise does not mitigate this challenge.

  1. You skip meals.

If you adhere to the theory that consuming fewer calories is always the healthiest choice, it’s time to change your tune. Our bodies depend on calories from nutritious foods to provide us with energy; skipping meals deprives our bodies of these important calories and causes a dip in blood sugar, which triggers a host of biological responses like a slowed metabolism and cognitive deficiency. Whether you prefer eating six small meals or sticking to three large meals a day, always respond to what your body tells you. When you’re hungry, that means it’s time for a healthy, well-portioned meal.

If we want to lead truly healthy lifestyles, we’ll need to pay closer attention to how our eating choices actually impact our health. For more tips on healthy living, be sure to stop by the blog of Lori Smith Priest on a regular basis.

The Key to Balancing a Busy Life

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Today, many people live hectic lifestyles and find it difficult to balance their career, family, social life and personal time. Though it may seem impossible, balancing your life is extremely important and something that can be done. Lori Smith Priest is a busy teacher who also has to balance supporting her very busy husband and his television show Trained Assassins. She has found that the best way to balance every aspect of her life is by prioritizing and making time for what matters most. And, with a hectic lifestyle, relaxation is also essential to prevent yourself from becoming overstressed and overworked.

Consider these tips for balancing a busy life from Lori Smith Priest:

  1. Stick to a schedule – Making a schedule and sticking to it can help you balance your life and ensure you don’t overwork yourself. Utilize your phone’s calendar and apps to manage your schedule, or use the old fashioned method of keeping a planner or agenda. Crossing things off your schedule will make you feel accomplished, as well as help you keep track of everything you need to do.
  1. Find time to relax – Making time for yourself to relax can seem difficult for a busy person, but it’s essential for reducing stress, increasing happiness and stimulating your mind. Spend a few minutes every day unwinding and doing something you enjoy or even absolutely nothing. You can sit quietly, do yoga, paint or read.
  1. Exercise – With a busy schedule, your health and body can be ignored. While you likely don’t have time to hit the gym, you can still make time to exercise. Like relaxation, exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood, while also keeping you fit and healthy. You can find time to exercise by walking on your lunch break or waking up 10 minutes early to do some strength training exercises like pushups, situps and planks.

 

6 Great Benefits of Strength Training

shutterstock_167044349While strength training activities like sits-ups, pushups and crunches may take you back to high school gym class, they are important exercises that should remain a part of your daily workout regime. Strength training exercises require little or no equipment and produce many outstanding health benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at the major health benefits of strength training from Lori Smith Priest:

  1. Reduces the risk of disease – Performing strength training exercises regularly can reduce your risk for many diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. It can also lower your risk of getting colds or the flu
  1. Strengthens bones – Strength training exercises strengthen your bones, increase bone density and reduce your risk for osteoporosis. By strengthening your bones, you can perform everyday tasks, such as lifting heavy objects and walker longer distances with ease.
  1. Increases flexibility – Strength training exercises work out your muscles in a full range of motion, thus increasing your body’s overall flexibility. Being more flexible also lowers your likelihood of experiencing back pain and muscle pulls.
  1. Improves Posture – How you sit and stand is affected by the health of your neck, shoulder, back, abdominal and hip muscles. Strength training exercises strengthen your muscles and help you sit and stand up tall.
  1. Better state of mind – Exercising regularly can improve your mood, reduce stress and lower your risk of anxiety, depression and insomnia. You’ll be able to handle stressful situations better, as wells a fall asleep quicker and for longer.
  1. Weight Management – Strength training exercises can help you lose weight and keep it off. According to Everyday Health, performing your strength training routine three times a week can increase the amount of calories you burn in normal daily activity. Gaining more muscle allows you to burn calories more efficiently.