#iamwhole30

I did Whole30 and it was amazing. Even now, a few weeks after completing my first challenge, I’m feeling the effects and reaping the benefits.

Whole30–What is it? Here are the basics:

Over 30 day period, you eat real foods. Fresh is always better. No taking measurements of your body during your Whole30 (W30) journey. You should always shoot for the organic, cage-free, grass fed option. With those as the basics, here is a list of things you cannot have.

Avoid for 30 days
Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.

  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)

  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.

  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)

  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.

  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.

There are always exceptions to rules. W30 has some, too.

The Fine Print

  • Clarified Butter or Ghee. Clarified butter or ghee is the only source of dairy allowed during your W30. Plain old butter is NOT allowed, as the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter could impact the results of your program. Refer to our Butter Manifesto for more details on the milk proteins found in butter, purchasing high quality butter, and how to clarify it yourself.

  • Fruit juice as a sweetener. Some products or recipes will include fruit as a sweetener, which is fine for the purposes of the W30.

  • Certain legumes. We’re fine with green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. While they’re technically a legume, these are far more “pod” than “bean,” and green plant matter is generally good for you.

  • Vinegar. Most forms of vinegar, including white, balsamic, apple cider, red wine, and rice, are allowed during your W30 program. The only exceptions are vinegars with added sugar, or malt vinegar, which generally contains gluten.

Let me explain the two big reasons I wanted to give this a go: I wanted to tackle the W30 plan for quite sometime, but I knew I needed to set myself up for success. The first part, was to con someone into doing this rigorous plan with me and that very lucky person was David.  Let me explain the two big reasons I wanted to give this a go:

  1. After several appointments to the dermatologist, I never got a real answer even after a biopsy. Long story short, I have these red dots all over the back of my hand. Now, when I say all over it’s like five bumps that are in a circle and one or two next to the circle. A lot of people said it would be ringworm, some people said it could be due to diet, etc. Everyone just kept giving me suggestions of what it could be. After my biopsy, I found out that sometimes these just appear and form on the backs of people’s hands or the tops of their feet. This happens for no reason at all. I asked the Dr. if it had anything to do with my diet, i.e., gluten and he said it could but there’s not a true link making that case.  my options were to keep the ugly dots, get shots, or use a steroid cream and even after all that “treatment” the specks would just lessen and would never fully go away.
  2. I felt like I was starting to develop a sensitivity/allergy to dairy after I consumed it.

So, why not give W30 a try?

We finished our first round of W30 April 21st and, boy, was it amazing! There were a lot of days that were insanely hard, but other days were so amazing. I could feel my skin feeling better, the specks on my hand went away (not completely, because they never will disappear, but they weren’t red and I couldn’t really notice them). I felt my workouts more. I was getting stronger and leaner by the day! I had mass amounts of energy and sleeping was uninterrupted most nights, too!

A few thoughts, tips, tricks & takeaways

  • Planning and prepping is key

    • Always know where your next meal is coming from

    • Make a list of meals and snacks

  • Once you have it down, there is so much you can actually eat

  • Always ask questions if you are going out to a restaurant

  • Making homemade mayo is time consuming and really hard the first time, but once you figure it out it’s cake!

  • You will eat eggs ALL THE TIME

  • Larabars are life savers

  • Trader Joe’s has really good Ghee, plantain chips, pre made guac and coconut milk

  • Palm oil- it never says you can’t have it. We probably could have had the chips, but we saved them

    • ALWAYS look at labels. I bought plantain chips at Whole Foods, and checked out without thinking/reading the label and they were compliant.

  • Here’s a list of approved things, but just because it’s on this list doesn’t mean it’s not compliant.

  • It’d hard!

  • You WILL have intense cravings. Get up, walk around, do something.

  • I read an article about hunger v. boredom eating that Melissa (founder) said about this. Bottom line, you need to ask yourself, could I get a salad with chicken, tomatoes and sweet potatoes right now. If the answer is no, then you’re bored. If it’s yes, obvs you are hungry.

    • You aren’t supposed to snack, but if you can’t make it then do it. Just make good choices

  • Due to the sugars, limit fruits especially bananas, apples and pineapple

  • Some meals you try will be weird. The worst one we had was avocado eggs. Basically you heat the oven, half the avo, remove the pit and crack and egg into each of the pit holes…warm avocados with eggs the worst.

  • Your meals will be bigger and you will be fuller longer

    • My plate was ALWAYS full. I didn’t really go off the portion guide, because I knew everything I was eating was good fresh food. Plus I was hungry

  • Cauliflower rice was the only thing we made that was on the “naughty” list. You aren’t supposed to make things that emulate “bad” foods. In this case rice

  • You’re not supposed to have smoothies because different neurons act when drinking something v. when you eat something. Also, I think it’s because you are drinking a lot of fruit and no veggies

    • David and I had smoothies. It might be illegal W30, but we ALWAYS packed them with kale/arugula/spinach and never had them with just berries. I always feel full after having a smoothie so I wasn’t too worried about this from the gecko. Also, we didn’t have these more than 2/week.

  • Ghee- butter substitute, we used once. We made a roast chicken for Easter. We never came across another opportunity/recipe to use it.

  • Sweet potatoes were our saving grace. We ate them ALL the time. The last 10 days we cut ourselves off from potatoes because we thought we had them too much

Day by Day break down

The beginning is hard. Days 1-3 I wanted to gnaw my arm off. I was so hungry all the time. I feel that I was a relatively healthier eater to beginning with and didn’t think I’d have any of these issues or symptoms, but they are pretty spot on. Days 9-12, I was so bloated because everything was finally working out of my system, but by Day 13, I could slap on the same jeans (not washed) from Day 9/10 and they fit even better than before! Day 27-32 (we added on 2 extra days, so it was really W32 for us) was tiring. I was so ready to be done. All I wanted was to have some bbq and it was all I could think about. When you know the end is in sight it’s easy to snap. We stuck with it, but I couldn’t wait for that first meal.

Post W30

  • I felt the best I had ever felt. I always struggled with being really bloated after meals, so far it’s not there
  • I lost weight (16 pounds!), but that was just a perk not the main objective or incentive. They also tell you that you might not lose much weight. It just depends on your body. *Side note, I am sure this has to do with the amount I workout too. It wasn’t all attributed to my W30 expereince, but I won’t discount that it’s not due to it!*

  • I have endless amounts of energy

  • The dots are gone for the most part

  • Sleep—I can sleep a full night without tossing and turning (per my Fitbit)

  • My workouts are awesome and last longer

  • I don’t crave sweet anymore (not yet)

  • I’ve been pinning things like crazy. You’ll see some things that have butter, dairy, etc in it but I know enough to switch those out or omit them.

Overall, I loved it and so did David! It was an awesome experience and for the most part we are going to stick with it. David and I have now transitioned into the Paleo lifestyle, and W30 has only helped us to maintain this new change. I absolutely foresee us doing several rounds of W30 each year.

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when things become the norm

​​you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After reading a Jon Acuff post yesterday, it really made me think. For the entire background and context of my post, read the post entitled, Divorce is so ordinary we sometimes forget the extraordinary pain it causes. If you aren’t going to read that then, know the quote to follow is where this entire post spins from, “If you grew up with divorced parents, are going through a divorce or are divorced, I’m sorry for all the times that twitter replyI didn’t understand how hard that experience can be. It might be common, but it’s never easy.”

I never, not even once for a split second want someone to think I had it “bad”. I don’t want anyone to ever feel sorry for me or to give me pity because I grew up in a “non-traditional home”.

Allow me to give you some of my background before you think I’m on a high horse. I want you to know (here’s the disclaimer) this is MY story and MY situation. As you might be able to figure out my Mom, was a single parent. After my parents divorced my Mom was taking care of two girls, and my Dad saw us on the weekends. Now, keep in mind both of my parents had full custody even though they were divorced. My dad got remarried twice and Lynn is the person I’d consider to be my Stepmom. My Mom got remarried to her now husband, Joel and I couldn’t be happier for either of them.

Now, as a child of divorced parents, I get it, but I doubt I’m the “textbook” case. Having divorced parents as a young child and growing up in a split family stinks, but you play the hand you were dealt. Things can only get better. I appreciate the kind words that Jon has, but the last thing I want is for someone to feel sorry for me because of how I grew up and because it wasn’t the “perfect” family situation. Growing up how I did and in my less than “normal” family was perfect for me. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine my mom with a better match than my Stepfather, Joel. As all of you know, I never refer to Joel as my Stepfather because he is so much more than that. To me, Stepfather or Stepmother gives such an awful connotation. Thanks to Disney movies we just see Stepparents, as evil-not-good-enough-not-my-real-parent type of figures in your life and that couldn’t be more wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, things weren’t always rainbows and butterflies, but just like any relationship there is give and take. For awhile, I grew up with my parents living a few blocks from each other, then my Dad moved about 45 minutes away and that got harder and then he moved again, a state away which was even harder, but we made it work. Due to the distance, I wasn’t able to see my Dad as frequently, so my Mom obviously played (and still does) a huge roll in my life; so did my grandparents and then Joel.

Rather than sulking over my parents divorce, I’ve embraced it. I would like to think I always did, but as a child it was hard to see my Dad drop me off at home and I remember countless times crying to my Mom, “asking her why he couldn’t stay or when would I see him next?” Don’t feel sorry for me, because I had a moment of sadness, we all do. This isn’t anything out of the ordinary. In hindsight, I know I can look back and feel grateful for the awesome parents (both sets) that I got. With four parents you have the potential to learn and experience so much more than the average kid. Without my parents divorce I wouldn’t know what it’s like to start all over, travel the world or even push myself to be an independent young woman.

Sure, my situation is different than the 13-year-old boy that Jon referred to in his post, but my situation really made me who I am. I couldn’t dream what my, my sister’s or mom’s life would be like without this life turning event happening. I hope that over the years, that boy will understand why his parents got divorced; that he knows it’s not his fault. I hope his parents keep communication with each other and have pleasantries to exchange even if it is a show for their son. It’s hard now, but it will only get better. Understand that parents are ALWAYS taking into consideration their children’s best interest and splitting up could very well be one of them.

Parents, if you’re reading this (which I know you are), thank you for pushing me and helping to mold who I’ve become. Thank you for showing me the world, giving me countless opportunities and always cheering me on. Without you in my life, so much would be different. You’re gems and I’m happy that I get to introduce you as my parents. I love you!

It’s in the Bag

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

TheDCLadies blog prompt – Day 8: It’s in the Bag. Today’s challenge is part writing, part photo Twitter. We all carry about way to much in our bags, ever notice when you stick you hand in you pull out everything but the kitchen sink? Yup, that! So we want to know we aren’t the only ones… What’s in your bag?

Isn’t that true? Ladies, we carry an exorbitance amount with us at all times it’s nuts. Up until recently, I tried to have the smallest bag with me at all times. I liked a wallet satchel, or a small cross body, but nothing crazy. I didn’t need all the extras. I didn’t want the frills. I didn’t what the hassle of a bag.

Now, that has all changed. Bz_ZrT7IgAA_dWLThis is my most recent purchase, and a great one at that. Ladies, this bag is enormous inside, but a small exterior. This is the ultimate Mary Poppins bag. This bag is equip with four inside pockets (no zippers) and two more with zippers. It’s a convertible cross body or a casual handbag, and not to worry there is an exterior zip pocket, too. Now, that you have a sense of how big this bag, I can tell you what is currently in my bag.

Bag contents pictured as of this morning:
-iPhone charger
-The Death Cure (book)
-Make up bag
-Wallet
-Tissues
-Sunnies
-Koozie
-Earbuds
-Tervis
-Starbucks Gold card (guilty)

I am sure there are other things that can be found in my bag that aren’t pictured, too. I don’t know if the times are changing or if I am. I am constantly on the run. It’s nice to have a bag with such versatility so I can grab it for a night out or for a day at the office. What’s in your bag, ladies?

 

 

discipline

alleluia

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Happy Easter! Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent. After 40 days, the discipline and contemplation is over. The wait is over…and I finally devoured some cheese.

Often, during the Lenten season, we give up something — or refrain from doing something, such as consuming meat — but whatever it is, it is supposed to act as a reminder of the hardship Christ endured because of their faith.

At the beginning of the Lenten season, I wrote a blog about Lent and what the season means. You can either read it here, or see the brief synopsis:

 As you can see, Lent is about sacrifice and discipline.  Look at any successful person, the ones who have excelled in their fields, do so because of passion, endurance, and discipline. While each may exhibit unique styles and individual elements, their success ultimately runs parallel to their dedication to the defining disciplines of their field. Discipline, not individual freedom of choice, brings out the most success.

Today is about praise and discipline. As a Wisconsinite, it was a challenge to give up cheese for the 40 days of Lent. Now that the season has ended, I celebrated with cheese  I thank my lucky stars for discipline.

Make today a celebration and however you celebrate, make sure you smile.

defeated

sometimes we feel a little defeated

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Yesterday, I posted a blog about rejection. If you want to read the whole post, click here. To sum up the last post, rejections push us to our dreams and goals. Sure, rejection sucks and we feel defected but that doesn’t mean we are, it just means that wasn’t out opportunity and that’s not our path. A friend sent me this HuffPost article titled: What To Do When You’re Feeling Defeated. He suggested that it would be a great addition to omg it’s kendal ann, and I couldn’t agree more. After reading the HuffPost article, it really fits in with the theme of rejection and how you need to get over that hump and move on. Like Amy Shearn says, “If things are going catastrophically awry, you are allowed to wallow, of course you are — but for exactly four minutes. Here’s what to start during minute five…” read her article for what to do next.

rejection

it makes you work harder

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

If you don’t take chances, you will never get rejected. Sure, rejection is a scary thing and yes, we are all scared of it. In the long run, rejection pushes us to our dreams and goals. Without rejection, would you be the best you can be? Take a look at this. It’s a rejection letter that Bono got back in 1979. What I am trying to say is, everyone has been rejected in some fashion or another, but it doesn’t stop you dead in your tracks. Thanks to this rejection letter Bono received, we are now graced with such ( dare I say it, even better) music than he was producing prior to 1979.  u2

Lent

the season is upon us

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

The Lenten season is upon us and thankfully, we’re given the freedom to choose what to give up for Lent each year. Although it would be interesting to see what others would have us give up, but that would be an entirely new blog post. Some people choose to give up a certain TV show or a particularly favorite dessert. For others, Twitter or that always faithful Diet Coke. During Lent, we are encouraged to sacrifice.

A little background for those of you who are unfamiliar with Lent. Starting Ash Wednesday (March 5th) to Easter Sunday – people will soon be discerning how this years 40 day penitential season will be impacting their lives. The season of Lent developed very early in Christian history as a period of preparatory fasting. People would refrain from certain meals and the eating of meat and cheese. They would often stick to a diet of raw fruits and vegetables throughout the 40-day season.

As you can see, Lent is about sacrifice and discipline.  Look at any successful person, the ones who have excelled in their fields, do so because of passion, endurance, and discipline. While each may exhibit unique styles and individual elements, their success ultimately runs parallel to their dedication to the defining disciplines of their field. Discipline, not individual freedom of choice, brings out the most success.

After telling my mom what I’m giving up this year, the snooze button and cheese (sorry about it, Wisconsin!), she informed me that cheese runs in our Wisconsin veins, but that is EXACTLY why I am giving it up. Lent is suppose to be about challenge, sacrifice, and discipline.  Like me, Ann Maire is going to participate in Lent. I asked her what she was giving up, and this is how she responded,

I’m not giving anything up…I’m going to try to find good in everyone I come across each day. It may not seem like a penance but each day we encounter difficult people and people we just plain don’t like so I’m going to try to see these people in a certain light and pass a smile on to them.

I admire her courage and determination to do this. This would be a huge challenge for me. If you are still looking for things to give up or take on this Lenten season, here are a few suggestions

-don’t sleep with pillows
-hot sauce
-alcohol
-meat
-no shoes
-don’t listen to music in the car, rather reflect on the beauty around us
-find the good in people, compliment one person every day
-don’t say no
-have a positive attitude

Sure, you have a few days left to prepare for the 40 days of Lent that are ahead of us, but remember you will encounter discipline along the way.

confessions

it must be wednesday…

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

CONFESSIONS! About two years ago, I started this thing called Confession Wednesday. I don’t have answers when it comes to “why” or logistics of the whole Confession Wednesday, but I can tell you this, it’s fun, it’s exhilarating and it’s something I enjoy doing.

When it comes to the confessions it can be big or small, you can post it on social media or just directly tell the person; Confession Wednesday has no rules, in fact, it doesn’t even need to be a Wednesday! This morning, after waking up and exchanging Valentine’s day presents with Matt, I told him my confession. The confession was most appropriate because it was all over my hands, it was finally complete. The perfect Valentine’s Day card about Valentine’s Day three years ago. Three years ago, would have been the one (of many) perfect time that Matt and I could have dated, but as always it never worked out.

Let me take you back three years and a few days. I sat in my college apartment, listening to music, coloring. After my desk was full of marker and crayon marks and I had glue all over my hands, it was finally complete. The perfect Valentine’s Day card. Three years ago, I made Matt this Valentine (see the picture), but I never gave it to him. The moment wasn’t right.

Three years later, (now present time) we are together. Time is a precious thing, and I couldn’t be happier that we finally found the perfect time to get together. Alligator-Valentine

I confessed this small little confession to Matt this morning, do you have one to tell someone?

picasso

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Today, is about learning how to do one new thing. What you learn does not have to be huge, it just has to be new. It’s the fact that you are learning. Take the time and learn one new thing today and follow after Pablo Picasso.

I am always doing that which I cannot, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

pieces of advice

Traveling is something really special. There is something nostalgic about it. When traveling, you experience culture, indexfood and people. Traveling is about the adventure just as much as it is about finding yourself. With that, I want to introduce you to Amanda. She is one of my sorority sisters who has an awesome job; not only does she encounter new lives an save people she travels. Amanda is a traveling nurse and her life is filled with many new experiences. Below Amanda writes about a few things that resonate with her and I think these things will resonate with any 20-somethings. After reading this blog post, I hope you leave with this: travel much, travel often – make it happen no matter the cost.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Pass It On

guest blog presented by: Amanda Bentz
You can find Amanda on Twitter: @AmandaRoseBentz; insta: amanda_rose_021, make sure you follow her

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde

I recently came across an article online titled “100 Pieces of Advice from 100-Year-Olds.” Intrigued, I found myself reading the collection of genuine, honest and somewhat humorous pieces of advice gathered from a collection of people who have lived a century. After reading advice on exercise, diets, marriage, pets, money, jobs and attitude, I paused on one that resonated with me.

 “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.”

Traveling has always been a desire of mine. I will always appreciate my roots and my small town upbringing, but I can’t help but wonder what else is out there? What am I missing if I pass up an opportunity to travel to a new location? This fueled my dream to become a travel nurse and relocate to a new hospital every three months. However, this form of travel doesn’t require extra money to be spent on my end. It’s the traveling that I want to do while I’m in a new location that costs money. As a 23-year-old with no dependents and a stable income, I feel like I am ‘young and able’ to travel. But shouldn’t I be focusing on paying off my student loans and saving money for my future?

Budgeting money is a stress that many people deal with. It’s a necessity to thrive in today’s economy. Everyone treats it differently, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s always a worry. We spend a lot of our money on tangible things that we use every day that benefit us such as groceries, clothing, gas, transportation, heat, cable, internet, etc. These are things most people consider a necessity. But traveling? That’s something that people can do without. What do you get out of traveling anyways? A week here, an extended weekend there – what’s the purpose?

“Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” This is my favorite part of the advice. Experience is one thing that can never be taken away from you. By traveling to new locations, we experience new things. Food, people, culture, climate, lifestyles, history – the list goes on and on. I believe that experiencing these things opens your mind and allows you to grow and develop as a person. That is something money cannot buy. That’s why I think this man is advising us to ‘make it work’. How do you do that? Well, I challenge you to figure it out.

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt