Tag Archives: detox

Our Whole30 Experience

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A few times on this blog I’ve mentioned my attempts at a detox or cleanse. Usually I ended up feeling worse or just abandoning ship after a few hours. But I’m a glutton for punishment (i.e. my love of crossfit and marathons), so I’ve always been interested in trying a strict cleanse just to see if I could do it. I read many positive things about the Whole30 (like here and here) and I liked that you still eat real food, not just juices, so this one in particular piqued my interest.

I’d talked to Kevin for probably over year about wanting to do the Whole30, but never followed through because it just wasn’t the right time. There was always someone’s birthday, holiday, or weekend away that I didn’t want to miss out on. But finally, this past July we committed to doing it (even though I knew I had Allie‘s bachelorette party during the last weekend of the 30 days). And here’s how it went…

I’ll start with the hardest. Surprisingly the hardest part, was not the feeling of missing out or feeling deprived. Thankfully with the Whole 30, there’s no calorie-counting or measuring your proteins on a scale; just eat what you need to feel full that follows the guidelines (no dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol, anything processed for 30 days. See here for more details on the program). But what was most challenging, was the extensive planning that goes into it. You can’t leave the house on an empty stomach and easily expect to find something on the go that’s Whole30 compliant. Even seemingly simple roasted almonds at Wawa have hidden added sugar in them. Whenever we’d go to the beach, I’d have to get up early to cook lunch for us to bring since the chances of finding something we could eat at the beach shack were zero. Even for someone who loves meal planning and grocery shopping, there were some days I just didn’t want to have to think about what we’d make for dinner before 6AM.

Even though the Whole30 rules out all of my favorite foods – cheese, bread, chocolate – those weren’t the things I missed most. What I did miss was relaxing with a glass of wine on a Friday night. One of the goals with the Whole is to banish your “Sugar Dragon” and break the habits of the nightly sweets or glass of wine because you think you have to have it. We loaded up on coconut La Croix and dabbled with some Kombucha, but it still wasn’t the same as a glass of rose on a hot summer night. Sorry, Whole30.

But despite the planning, grocery shopping, and wine FOMO, it was 100% worth it and I would 100% do it again (and plan to). The sense of accomplishment and self-command is enough reason for me to start another Whole30 tomorrow. I felt confident, both mentally and physically, which is not easy for me to come by. I physically felt lighter and less bloated. Running, even in the summer heat, didn’t feel as hard. And it definitely felt good to not have to hide a food baby in a bikini on the beach. Probably the best benefit was that all of my digestive issues that I’ve dealt with for years – gas, bloating, serious cramps – completely disappeared throughout the entirety of the program. BIG win!

It was hard and exhausting and annoying most some days, but it was the best I’ve felt in so many ways in a long time. We did spend a lot more money on groceries, though we saved on eating out and alcohol, and I do think it would be a challenge to follow as a vegetarian, but I would absolutely recommend the Whole30 to anyone who’s even remotely thinking about it. There is never going to be the perfect time to start the Whole30 (or any new routine or project), so you might as well start now. And if you start and decide it’s not for you, no one is saying you can’t abandon ship, but I have a feeling you’ll get addicted to feeling the best you ever have. I know I did.

If you have questions about the Whole30 or need help with meal planning, please reach out! Here are some of the resources I went to over and over again throughout the 30 days: The Whole30Well FedLexi’s Clean Kitchen.

This post is not sponsored or affiliated with the Whole30, I just love it that much!

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Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa

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After a relaxed weekend of some window shopping, House of Cards binging, and not much else, I’m ready to get to work this week and feel productive. I think it’s that springtime energy that’s starting to bubble under the surface. I’m ready to come out of hibernation, make plans, set goals, take on a new project, and tackle it. So, Kevin and I came up with a new workout plan that we’re going to follow (3 cardio/run days, 2 strength training days, 1 spin day) and we’re going to try to give up alcohol and sweets for the month of March. I know it sounds crazy and I’m not usually one to support depriving yourself of any one thing, but we’re looking at it more as a test of willpower that will hopefully motivate us to take on other nagging projects and tasks. Of course, any physical benefits will be an added bonus, too. I’m also hoping that by sharing this on the blog, it will help keep us accountable throughout the next 4 weeks. So to kick off the month, today’s Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa is not only healthy, but super flavorful and only takes about 10 minutes to make. It’s foolproof recipes like this one that will help you stick to whatever your healthy eating goals may be.

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Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa

serves 2

2 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp capers, drained

3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 12 oz. jar roasted red & yellow peppers, sliced

2 sirloin steaks

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the steaks with salt & pepper. When the oil is hot, add the steaks and brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, capers, and parley. Toss in the peppers and season with salt & pepper.

3. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain. Top the steaks with salsa and serve alongside couscous, rice, potatoes, or on their own!

Quick Detox Tips

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We had such a great weekend skiing (more like eating, eating, and eating) with Allie & Raven. The airbnb we stayed in was so cozy and the skiing conditions were perfect. But after a weekend of indulgence and another foot of snow, I’m starting to feel the itch for spring. And with that comes lighter, fresher cooking and fewer layers of clothing. Whether you’re also recovering from a weekend bender or have bathing suits on the brain, here are some of my go-to tips for a quick detox to have you feeling in tip-top shape by next weekend.

Follow one, two, or all of these pointers for a few days or however long you need to feel your best again.

Cut out alcohol. On many weeknights, we’ll have a glass (or two) of wine just because. Even though there’s something about this ritual that is relaxing, there are many other things you can do to unwind. I’ll be giving this one a try this week – check back to see how I do!

Nix the sweets. This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is probably the hardest one for me. After dinner, I always crave something sweet. If you’re like me, have healthier substitutions on hand like tea, yogurt, or fresh fruit. It will suck at first, but the longer you go without it, the less you will crave it.

Choose only whole foods. If you can’t tell by looking at it what animal or plant it came from, don’t eat it. This means any processed foods, including breads and pastas. If you need bread, opt for a sprouted grain kind like Ezekiel, and instead of pasta, go for quinoa or brown rice.

Exercise! Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, just getting yourself to do something so that you break a sweat is a fairly quick and easy to feel better mentally and physically. And once you do it, it will be that much easier to do it again the next day, and the next, and the next…

Try a cleanse. This incorporates elements of all of the above if you’re really looking for a detox. Read about our experience with a DIY cleanse here and here.

Detox Dinner: Grilled Chicken, Asparagus & Portobello Mushroom

After a long weekend in Las Vegas filled with food court breakfasts, all-you-can-eat buffets and “frozen yard” Mai Tais, I was in major need of some fresh, light food and a heavy dose of exercise. Don’t get me wrong, the frozen drinks were much needed in the 105 degree sun and we did eat some delicious food (i.e. Border Grill where I enjoyed amazing fish tacos). But after three days of indulgence, I was more than ready for a healthy detox.

Not a crazy-starve-yourself detox, but rather eating whole foods with simple and healthy ingredients. After a quick trip to Trader Joe’s to restock my fridge, I decided to make this super easy dinner with just three main ingredients: portobello mushrooms, asparagus and chicken breast tenders. The marinade is so refreshing and flavorful that you don’t need to add extra fat or carbs to beef up the meal. Plus, the meatiness of the mushrooms adds a deceiving richness to the dish. The recipe below makes two servings–perfect leftovers for lunch or dinner to continue the “detox” throughout the week.

So while Las Vegas was definitely a welcome escape from reality, it was about time to swap my dancin’ shoes for sneakers, and endless buffet brunch for good ol’ Kashi cereal. But healthy, delicious meals–like this one-can make the transition back to the real world just a little more tasteful.

Grilled Portobello, Asparagus & Chicken

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast tenderloins

12-14 asparagus spears

2-3 portobello mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil (to drizzle the chicken)

3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the marinade:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

2-3 tbsp lemon juice, or juice of one lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Whisk all ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl.

2. Add the mushrooms and asparagus to a bowl or ziploc bag. Pour most of the marinade over the vegetables and let sit in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before cooking. Reserve the rest of the marinade for later.

3. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. (If you don’t have a grill pan, just saute in a regular pan).

4. Season both sides of the chicken with salt & pepper, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place the chicken tenders on the grill, and allow to cook about 3-4 minutes each side. The chicken should have a nice golden crust. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove and set aside.

5. Add the mushrooms and asparagus to the grill pan. Cook until tender, flipping the mushrooms and asparagus after about 3-4 minutes.

6. Plate the chicken, mushrooms and asparagus, pouring the leftover marinade on top. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an extra salty punch.