#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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where everybody knows your name

Sometimes you just need to see a friendly face. Being a regular is an art and something to aim for. Sure, you may have gone into becoming a regular in order to snag a discount here and there, but you’ll come out with much more than that. You’ll have a seat reserved for you every week at the same time, have a butcher who cuts the chops thicker than they normally would, a wine seller eager to tell you what they just got in stock, or have a place of refuge where your drink is waiting and you can relax when you’ve had a hard day—where everybody knows your name. My friends, without further adieu…Patrick Kotary.

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

on being a regular

guest blog presented by: Patrick Kotary
You can find Pat on Twitter: @Kotary; insta: patrickkotary, make sure you follow him!

The TV show Cheers has, in my opinion, one of the best storylines of any sitcom ever on TV. A bunch of people, some working at, some going to, this bar. They share their lives with each other and always have one another’s back. As soon as an episode starts you feel like a regular heading to that same old spot on Beacon Hill. It also has a great opening theme song that is basically the theme song for all the “regulars” at any biz, USA. The kind of place where you can walk in and say, “Hey Joe!” or “Sal! What’s up?” or “You know what I’m having, Mike. Make it a double!” – “Isn’t it always?!” he replies with a chuckle.

Becoming and eventually being a regular somewhere is one of my favorite things. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a creature of habit or I like feeling special (who doesn’t?). It’s not an easy task though by any means. You can’t just walk in and get preferential treatment. If you think about it, it’s a lot like falling in love. At first you might not be sold on the person – say they voted for Obama in both elections- it’s a potential deal breaker but you think hey why not at least try to keep this going (okay, both elections is extreme, let’s say just ’08). Then they begin to grow on you – you connect and find a mole hill of common ground that has the power to grow into a mountain – you find out they dislike Maryland and love Virginia as much as you do. Then one day you realize you’re in love and couldn’t imagine leaving – you both watch the sun go down drinking UNsweetened tea on the Veranda.

Take my dry cleaner for example. I went on a “first date” there primarily because the other place I tried was broken down – I wasn’t sold right away because pants cost $2 more than shirts, but the lady was nice and gave me a quick turnaround. Then after a couple visits she says I don’t have to go by the in by 9 out by 5 rule and she knows I like medium starch without my saying so. Finally the unabashed love – I go there almost every week now, we chat about our weekend plans and the weather, and we exchanged Christmas cards. Now I can’t imagine going to a different cleaners!

You have to keep in mind though that also like love, this is a two way street. You have to show that drive to becoming a regular as much as they want you or more. Be friendly, ask how they’re doing, and give them a nice tip once in a while.

Where do you consider yourself a regular? Particular Starbucks? Bar in AdMo that has that certain level of dive bar you’ve been searching for your whole life. Wherever it may be for you, embrace it! And if you don’t have this kind of place, find one. You’ll probably get better service and will definitely walk out with a smile. Who doesn’t want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came?

a new game

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

When given opportunities out of the blue I consider them a blessing and I can’t help but to feel excited and hopeful. My friends, every day is a new opportunity and we always have a reason to say thank you. Today, I have many reasons to be thankful.

Remember this: Every day is a new opportunity. Remember, you can build on yesterday’s success or you can put all your failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is a new game each day.

 

honesty

it’s the best policy

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

An idiom that everyone has heard is “honesty is the best policy.” FreeDictionary.com explains what this idiom actually entails:

Honesty is the best policy. Prov. You should always tell the truth, even when it seems as if it would be useful to tell a lie. Jill: I borrowed Jane’s white blouse without asking her, and then I spilled tomato sauce on it. Should I tell her what happened, or should I just put the blouse back in her closet and hope she won’t notice? Jane: Honesty is the best policy.

Since a young age, I have been taught that it is always best to be honest in everything that you do and the truth will set you free.

To play a little devil’s advocate, the reality is, we don’t need weapons to mortally wound those closest to us. Words (honesty) cut like knives and they make it easy to bury your relationship because of the verbal cuts of a “truthful” tongue.

“Honesty is the best policy” was given to me as a blog post suggestion, and after a little research on debate.org, it appears that honesty might not be the best policy. This little idiom is getting a lot of heat, but in return many people are sticking up for honesty. For me, I look at it like this lately, we see things around us which are not honest. Dishonesty is something we are in a constant battle with. Sure, dishonesty will help some shine, but the luster can only last for a short time. Honesty is courageous and bold while dishonesty is a cowardly and bleak. How can a honest person not come out as shining star? A dishonest person will always lose the battle in the end, and a honest person will win a place in the hearts of people. With all of this said, isn’t honesty is the best policy?

Just be honest and everything else will come in place. Do you agree that honesty is the best policy? If you don’t I would love to hear your thoughts on what the best policy is.

the afternoon slump

there are ways to beat it

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

After that productive morning and your inbox is finally clean, the afternoon slump strikes. The clock strikes 2 PM and let’s face it, we are down for the count. Sure, it’s normal to feel tired once the afternoon rolls around.  Did you know circadian rhythms, which affect our sleep patterns, may be to blame for the midday-slump? Ina ll reality our sleep patterns aren’t the only culprits of our slump, what we eat,  hydration levels, and how much time we spend staring at a screen also affect those sleepy eyes.

Here are a few tips to beat that afternoon dip in productivity.

Have a snack.

Have a snack to help boost energy levels. Try an apple, a handful of nuts, or another high-protein snack to keep alert.

Try a walking meeting.

Take that meeting to the streets and discuss what you would in the office outdoors. Sometimes this is a little difficult, which I understand. If your office has a Penthouse or there is a dark nearby move the meeting to one of those locations if you have to take some notes.

Switch tasks.

Have you been working on that same project for five hours? Try tackling something else (like a new smaller project, or reading some emails) to stay stimulated and keep things fresh at the desk.

Take a catnap.

Sometimes the best remedy for fatigue is to simply shut the eyes. Learn how to power nap (10-20 minutes of snooze time!) to get that midday boost you really need.

Schedule an appointment.

Schedule that dreaded dentist appointment during your lunch for some forced activity that prevents us from feeling doze-y. This way, you avoid eating at your desk, no one likes doing that!

Take a break.

Tired? Take five or get a Take Five. For five minutes do something that isn’t work related. Call a friend, go for a walk, read the news, you could even play a game of Sudoku.

Turn up the tunes.

Listening to your  favorite music to help you focus, in turn, this will also make you feel more energized.  Remember though, listen with headphones to really hone in on a tasks and your office mates will be thankful for your respect.
Kitts and puppies!

This one sounds really silly I know, but take a minute and google “kitties” or “puppies” just seeing those little rascals will make you feel better. I think it deals with the cuteness factor.

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.

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?

a mentor

Matt is a very lucky guy in many aspects. One in particular he’s been blessed with having not one, but two exceptional mentors in his short lived career. I’ve heard countless stories of both mentors and they not only are mentors to Matt while he was working with them, but they still contact one another. To me, an awesome mentor is someone who is trusted and someone you can talk about about more than your career and professional life. I want a mentor who I trust and can go to for advice across many subjects. One day, I hope we all have an opportunity to have mentors (or be mentors) like the one Matt writes about in his guest blog post below.

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

what makes a mentor

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

By definition, a mentor is “an experienced or trusted adviser” or even more descriptive, a “an experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students.”

In my short 23 years, I’ve had two different types of mentors, both of whom were bosses of mine at one point in my career.

Both of these individuals, who shall remain nameless, are mentors of mine for different reasons. I think that aspect of this story is very important because I think there are some very important criteria that must be met in order to be considered someone’s “mentor.”

The biggest thing for me is that a person must trust you to do your job correctly just as much as you trust them to be fair to you when being your superior. It means relying on you to do not only the miniscule tasks, but the hard and challenging tasks as well. At the same time, it means that this person doesn’t act like a boss, they act as a friend until you screw up and they need to lay the hammer down, which they don’t have any problem doing. Another important thing that a “mentor” has in my opinion is that they trust your judgment, 100%, no questions asked.

One of the other important things that I find to be a characteristic of both of my mentors is that they bring out good qualities, the ones that you were hired for, in you to use them to not only help you grow, but to help the organization/company grow as well. They take all of your strengths and help you make them grow even stronger while taking your weaknesses and help you grow them into strengths. This person also always wants you to succeed no matter what, even if it’s for a different company. In turn, that desire for success applies to them from you, too.

Finally, this person always has time for you, no matter if it’s on the clock or off the clock. Whether it be sitting in their office after hours for 15 minutes extra or going out for a dinner to discuss not only work-related things, but to discuss life in general. That’s the type of mentor I want.

I’ve been lucky this far in my career where I’ve had two people who have fulfilled all of those things and more for me. They’ve allowed me to grow, to harness my talents, help pinpoint my weaknesses and teach me how to fix them, all while not being afraid to keep me informed on the things that I need to work on or call me out when I screw up. People like this are irreplaceable in both life and the workplace. If you’ve met someone like this, a person that you can really call a “mentor,” you’re lucky. Those friendships will last a lifetime. If you haven’t yet, keep your head up because you’re bound to meet someone like this.

new year

As you all know by now, Matt has a blog. Matt’s blog is pretty awesome, but sometimes it is a little neglected so I push him to write more. I push him because I know he enjoys writing, but maintaining a blog is hard work– and I like omg it’s kendal ann to be a creative outlet for others, not just myself. Often I ask Matt to write on a particular topic, but other times he will come to me with ideas, like this one: New Year’s Resolutions; shocking for this time of year, right? Oh please, just because you saw the words New Years Resolution doesn’t mean you are going to stop reading. Trust me this is an awesome post. Anyway, this is an awesome post and I am really excited to see what will happen in 2014. I think he is, too! Setting NYR isn’t a bad thing, I used to be like Matt never making resolutions, but for some reason this just just seems different.

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

new goals

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him

With it being after the first of the year, people have already had their New Year’s Resolutions in full swing (hopefully) for a few days now. Resolutions such as working out more, cooking healthier, spending less and so on are some of the most common resolutions that I’ve heard of, but I feel like they’re some of the most common resolutions that also never fully come to fruition.

One thing that I’ve never done is set a resolution for the New Year. Let me give you a second to pick your jaw up from the floor. Okay. Let’s go. Never have I ever set a New Year’s resolution mainly because I’ve always lived my life the way I’ve wanted to do it. Sure, I could use a few reps in the gym or stand to not spend as much money on things, but at the same time, I’m perfectly happy living my life the way I currently do.

This year won’t be any different in terms of not making New Year’s resolutions. I have none. At the same time, I still want to grow as a person and I know that I need to make some changes in order to help myself grow and mature more. So, I’ve come up with three things that I want to work at more during this upcoming year.

  1. Shoot more photos, both digital and film, with the film being black and white.
  2. Read more books.
  3. Write more.

With the first one on my list, I want to get back into the photography realm once again. I used to shoot every day for my job, but now that I don’t work there anymore, I haven’t picked up my camera since August. I miss it. Not only do I miss taking photos, I just miss the thrill of going on a walk, camera in hand, and just looking for interesting (to me) things to photograph. I really also want to break out my Dad’s Nikon F-3 and shoot some black and white photos. There’s just something about a black and white photo that gets me every time.

As a child, I read everything. I read the newspaper with my cereal, I read the box of the cereal, I read magazines and books and I was read to before I went to sleep each night. But as I got older, life happened more, making it harder to curl up with a book each night. In 2014, I want to finish a new book each month. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to start a book and not finish it (unless I’m really not into it). So today, I finished the last book I was reading (which I started in November) and moved onto my January 2014 book. Here’s to reading more!

Finally, Kendal Ann has been putting out a new blog post each day and will so until she hits 365 blog posts – one for each day of a year. I started to get on that path, but once again, life happened and I was unable to keep it going. So I want to make a better attempt to write more during the coming year. Maybe not put out a blog post a day, but try and put a few out a week in order to keep my brain going and wet my whistle with some creativity.

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? If so, why? Did you follow through with it? If not, why?

Resolutions are too formal. Goals are more fun and really make you think about the smaller things that you have a tendency to miss out on when life happens.

secret life of

Walter Mitty

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

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is based on a short story first published in 1939, which was adapted to a film. This weekend, I had the opportunity to see “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and it is a fantastic movie. This film will keep you on the edge of your seat, and it is a perfect flick for a new perspective that most people are looking for in a new year. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly recommend it, check out the trailer below!

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer,to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”