So many of you guys have been following my health journey the past 30 days! You know, the obnoxious foods posts and daily selfies! I was beginning to annoy myself, but posting was a way of accountability for me! I didn’t want to fail in front of all of you! Some would call it pride, but for me it was strategy! I know my personality and ways, and I struggle with finishing something that I start! I did not want this to be another “unfinished project.” This was also part of the challenge for me! Pushing myself to finish something well….without cutting corners!
The “Heavy” and Harsh Reality
About 2 months ago, I stepped on the scale and I saw the number “6” in the middle of that 3 digit number. My heart sunk a little because I knew I had gained some weight, but reality hit when I saw that number. A healthy weight for my height is around 150, give or take a little. For me, it was not necessarily about how I looked, but I just didn’t want to get in the habit of being okay with unhealthy eating. That’s not me, but that’s what I was becoming.
After I got married and starting working 12-14 hours shifts as a nurse, it became very easy on those nights to just run by a fast food restaurant and bring it home. Not only was it terrible food, but it was late at night! I always grew up with a mother who instilled heathy eating habits and exercised regularly, so I was aware of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. It wasn’t new to me. I had just fallen into an unhealthy pattern that I needed to get out of STAT!
The Self Intervention
I had heard of Whole30 from a few friends months ago, and decided to give it a go last year. I didn’t really read the book, and just kind of went at the program without preparation and knowledge. Needless to say, I didn’t have great results because I wasn’t fully compliant with the guidelines. I also stopped 2 days early. My heart wasn’t in it and I ate the same foods day after day because I didn’t really prepare!
I knew Whole30 had worked for some friends and I was aware that I didn’t do it right the first time. I decided to give it another go! That was 31 days ago!
(Click Photo to Link to Whole30)
Read the Book and PREPARE!
I decided to read the book and learn the food science behind that program. That helped tremendously, as it allowed me to pick and choose ingredients appropriately and understand why or why not something wasn’t allowed. I wasn’t just guessing or hoping something would be approved. I understood the reasoning for eating the foods that I was! I meal prepped for 2 days, and went grocery shopping for the week! I was mentally prepared and ready to DO THIS!
I recommend shopping week to week. Whole30 requires all fresh and whole ingredients, so lots of produce (no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no legumes, and no added sugar). This stuff tends to go bad if you shop for 2 weeks ahead of time. It’s time consuming to do so, but you HAVE to do this!
I would actually shop for 3 days at a time. I made a lot of meals with chicken/beef and veggies! I started to get creative as time went by! You have to, otherwise you will get bored, give up, and not enjoy the healthy foods you can eat! I used their Instagram for recipes: @Whole30Recipes. It is THE BEST! You find a yummy pic and you make it! Just be careful to pay attention to the ingredients in them! Paleo is still really good for you, but it approves some sweeteners and other non-whole30 approved ingredients! Sometimes those recipes will be posted as well! You can eat a lot of Paleo Recipes, but know your Whole30 rules! Preparation is KEY to succeeding.
A Day in the life of Whole30
If you don’t have foods available to eat that are approved and appealing, you will not do well with this! I always had pre-cut veggies, plantain chips (homemade) and guacamole made up for my breakthrough hunger! For the days that I worked, I always ate boiled eggs in the morning or a banana with almond butter. I carried raw almonds in my bag and LARA bars (key lime and cherry pie are my fav) for energy in those moments where I needed it!!!
For lunch I’d have a pre-made salad or deli turkey roll ups! I’d bring a whole avocado with me and eat with the turkey! Some days I got creative and made more intricate lunches or brought leftovers from dinner! Just get creative! Try not to do the same thing every day. Dinner was already planned and prepared for easy make when I got home!
Some of my Favorite Foods
1-2 green plantain sliced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Let oil melt, fill whole pan with plantain chips, cook 5 mins on medium heat then flip and cook 1-2 mins until brown! They are sticky in the pan and a little time consuming to flip so I make a bunch and save! (I heat up in toaster for later use!) sprinkle with sea salt….SOOOOO GOOD!!!!!
2 light tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1/2 medium red onion chopped
1 half of a lime squeezed
A shake of garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
THIS IS MY FAV SNACK! I typically eat it with grilled chicken and salsa.
Plain Black Coffee
(my coffee has bubbles in this pic because it’s a freshly made Americano! I typically drink just plain black coffee! SO GOOD!)
My Other Favorite Whole30 Beverage is LaCroix Carbonated Water:
Coconut, Lime, and Passionfruit!
It’s bubbly and no sugar! If you’ve never tried them, it takes a while to get used to because it has no sugar, but SO good!
(olive oil, salt and pepper)
Sweet Potato Hashbrowns
1 whole shredded sweet potato
Half of a whisked egg
Use hands to coat shredded potatoes and mix well. This makes them somewhat sticky, enough to shape and put in saucepan on medium heat. Let cook in coconut or olive oil until both sides browned. SO SO SOOOO GOOD! You can add turkey bacon or regular PLAIN bacon!
Lots of protein, good vitamins, and fiber!
I have too many to post! I got a lot of my dinners from the Whole30recipes Instagram!
-Naked Burgers with Guacamole
-Lime cilantro Shrimp with Peppers
-Stuffed Potatoes with Cooked Egg
-Orange Chicken with Coconut Aminos
-Grass fed beef, Sundried Tomatoes, and Butternut Squash
This list goes on……
So now that you have seen and heard about the foods that I ate and how I got started, you probably what to know, “Was is worth it?” Well throughout the 30 days, I can truly say that my mind was clearer, my spirit happier, my pants looser, my skin purer, and my will-power stronger. I also completely tapered off my anti-anxiety medication (this has been a year long process), and my healthy eating has been SUCH contribution to that victory! These are a few of MANY NSV’s ( Non-Scale Victories). Every day I felt more empowered and stronger. I NEVER thought I would have seen the results that I have, let alone COMPLETE the program!
(I did weigh myself before and after as the program allows, but I didn’t step on the scale during it all! This initial picture was taken the day I started and this last picture was day 30! The weight reflects the day before the first pic on day 1 and day 31! A little confusing, but I wanted to clarify for compliance purposes!)
I am 11lbs lighter today than I was 31 days ago. HOLY COW! I was motivated to work out because I was seeing the physical results! I wanted to help expedite the physical process because I was feeling results in SO many ways, and it motivated me! I wanted to feel strong and healthy so I started Zumba, running, and hiking! Working out was not hard when I felt good about myself!
I never once was super hungry or felt like I was “dieting.” I never stopped eating! I only ate if I was hungry though, and when I did it was with healthy foods that were within my plan! I posted food all of the time because I ate all of the time! I don’t call this a “diet” because it was not that for me. It was an emergency life style change! I never once hated myself or felt miserable along the way. I felt completely happy and empowered!!
Getting Over The Humps
YOU HAVE TO BE COMMITTED! You can’t go at this half heartedly. This takes your WHOLE BODY, MIND, AND SOUL to get through! There are no bites of birthday cake at a friend’s party. No “just one French Fry won’t hurt.” Not one sip of soda….NO CHEATING! You are doing this to change your habits. You are doing this to CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
Don’t go at this thinking you’ll resort back to old ways after. Do this to jumpstart your new healthy habits. I plan to continue Whole30 with some Paleo after this. Paleo is very similar to Whole30, but a little more variety with ingredients. It’s still an Anit-Inflammatory eating plan and will make a difference with your health. I’m not going back to my old eating habits! Just can’t!
(Again, weight reflects before day 1 and day after day 30!)
I like who Kelsey is right now. I like how I feel. I like how I look. Those 2 combined helped my anxiety and depression BIG TIME! When you feed your body what it needs and not what it wants, it’s more than just the “looks” and how your clothes fit. It’s about feeling strong and capable of saying no to the sugars and junk, and choosing what is RIGHT for you. That is empowerment. That is strength. And with that comes reward in MANY WAYS!
I didn’t necessarily start Whole30 to lose weight. I knew that was a possible outcome, but more importantly, I wanted to create a HEALTHY HABIT. I accomplished way more than I thought I would going into this. My mind is blown at the results and I’m SO excited to share this with you all!
As a nurse, I want to practice what I preach, and empower my fellow nurses to do so! Our diet affects more than you know and more than our patients understand! I refuse to be loaded up with medications when I’m older, when I can prevent these issues now. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing. That’s not just your physical health, it’s your mental and spiritual as well! These all came together for me during this challenge!
If anyone has questions, concerns, comments or ANYTHING, please feel free to contact me!
Follow My Nursing and Health Journey!
I encourage ALL of you to take this challenge, but don’t take it lightly!
YOU CAN. END OF STORY.
Your Heart Is Mine,
NOW BACK TO VACATION!!!!