January Whole30 and My WHY

Burger and side salad

There’s a group of us doing the #JanuaryWhole30 together and we have a little support group on Facebook.  It’s awesome and this group is amazing because everyone is supporting each other, celebrating small victories, and being super chatty.  It’s the best!

Recently we had a great discussion about doing the Whole30 and what is motivating us to do this challenge.  Basically our WHY.  Because you do need to have a WHY to get you through the challenge.  Something to focus on that keeps you going and helps keep your motivation level high.

My WHY is actually in two parts.

Kick Starting Weight-loss

Honestly, I hate even talking about this because there’s so much more to this challenge for me than weight-loss, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a small part of it.  I’ve been feeling stuck and in a rut the past year.  I had been doing CrossFit regularly for about a year and didn’t see any changes in my body.  I didn’t lose any weight and in fact, I gained weight.  Yes some of it was muscle weight but a lot of it was not.

What. The. Fuck.

You see all these awesome before and after photos of people who started Crossfit and six months later look like a beast. And I’m looking at myself going, um, I resemble Cookie Monster.  The comparison trap is real and it sucks.

I was eating well, or at least, I felt like I was eating well, so what gives? I was pissed, frustrated, and felt defeated.  I let that get to my head so that by the time the holidays rolled around I didn’t give a shit about anything.  I decided to eat crap and would snack or have treats after dinner, because who cares? I didn’t lose weight or lean out, so what’s the point anyway?  I imbibed a lot because holidays.

Basically for the last two months of the year I didn’t give a flying fuck about anything.

And right around Christmas time, I realized that this wasn’t getting me anywhere either.  I gained more weight, most of it was water and bloat, but still, that shit makes the scale go up which in turn got in my head.  I needed a change and to get back on track.  For me, a challenge that still lets me eat real delicious food without having to count anything (because I hate that shit) is totally up my alley. I was in and Whole30 was exactly what I needed.


Learning To Fuel My Body

The biggest part of my WHY is so I can learn what best fuels my body,

  1. For my workouts.
  2. To properly fuel my body as I age.

I want to lean out and gain muscle. I want to do this to the best of my ability while maintaining a healthy body as I grow older.  After a year of doing CrossFit consistently, I didn’t lose any weight so clearly something in my regular diet needed to change.  Something was keeping me from leaning out.  Possibly it was portion sizes but my gut was telling me that it was something else.  I also found that lately I was getting super tired after workouts.  To the point where I needed to take a day off during the week because my body felt run down.

My joints were also starting to ache after workouts and that also caused me to feel run down and old. I’m not that old, so I hate feeling old after a workout.  I found that I was struggling with energy during the workouts as well.  It was also frustrating to see people crushing their workouts and getting PRs while I felt stuck in grandma mode always slow. (This was happening before the holidays and before I completely gave up for two months.)

It was time to make a serious change.  I’ve said that before and years past, but this year is MY YEAR.  I’m tired of being chubby Andrea. I hate Chubby Andrea. And I know we’re always supposed to be positive about ourselves and blah blah blah.  But Chubby Andrea isn’t the normal Andrea. Chubby Andrea is the chick who stayed to long at the party that you’re trying to politely get to leave.  Yet since moving here, people only know me as Chubby Andrea and I hate it.  I need to get back to me and what I normally look like, except stronger, faster, and with muscles.  That’s what I want.

I’m doing Whole30 because it eliminates the most common inflammatory foods. I want to see how I feel with none of those foods in my diet.  I’m already on the right track.  Yesterday at the gym I did a crap ton of squats.  Some weighted and a lot of body squats.  My knees did not hurt one bit afterwards.  They didn’t ache and they weren’t swollen.

Obviously there’s something that I was eating that was causing inflammation and now it’s time to find out what it is.  This time around I’m going to take reintroduction super slowly so I can see exactly what is giving me issues and what is not.

So that’s my big WHY for doing this challenge.


Whole 30 Day 10

Last night kicking it on the couch, I had some herbal tea and some pistachios while finishing up the first season of Legends of Tomorrow.  SPOILERS so avoid if you aren’t watching it or don’t care.

  1. I’m pissed that they killed off Captain Cold. He was awesome and it was unnecessary to get rid of him.
  2. I’m so happy that Kendra and Carter are gone. Man I haven’t been as annoyed by a couple since the freaking Ponds from Doctor Who. They were horrible.

I’m curious to see what season two has in store and where the storyline will go.

The end.

Before I hit the gym today I had three dried plums.

Frittata and Coffee

I did not even remotely eat enough yesterday for workouts today.  Ugh.  It was a struggle!  Back home, I heated up a slice of frittata.  This one had peppers, onions, carrot, and some breakfast sausage from Pederson’s Farms.  Always frothy coffee on the side.

Roasted shrimp, asparagus, soup

Lunch was some lime and chili roasted shrimp, roasted asparagus, and some butternut squash soup on the side.  This was so filling and exactly what I needed today.

Crab cakes, potatoes, squash

Dinner tonight was crab cakes (that I previously made a few weeks ago and froze), roasted yellow squash and zucchini, and some easy boiled potatoes on the side. The potatoes were mixed with ghee, Flavor God Lemon Garlic, chopped parsley, and some green onion.

I also made a quick sauce for the crab cakes (unpictured):

  • Mayo
  • Whole Grain Mustard
  • Chopped Pickles
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Chopped Green Onion
  • Dill
  • Salt and Pepper

I was feel super tired today and I wanted dinner to be something easy, this meal came together quickly. The crab cakes took the longest to heat up. And there was minimal clean up, one pot for the potatoes and one bowl for the sauce for the crab cakes.  Easy and done!

I’m going to have some herbal tea and maybe some pistachios.  Then it’s an early bedtime for me because I am exhausted today.


Whole 30 Days 8 & 9

Hi all!  We need to get caught up! I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve chatted. Still going strong on the Whole30 train and I feel amazing!  And tired, oh so tired.  But we’ll talk about that later this week.

Ok, let’s get caught up.


Scrambled eggs and sweet potato

Once back from the gym I had some scrambled eggs and a baked sweet potato.  I put ghee on top of the sweet potato.  It’s not the same as butter but it gets the job done. Also frothy coffee with coconut oil + collagen.

chicken salad, veggies, plantain chips

Lunch was supposed to be a salad but my salad greens turned (grrrr!) so I had some chicken salad with peppers, cucumbers, and plantain chips.  Snack while at work was some clementines.

Kielbasa and kale soup

Dinner was some soup that I put in the slow cooker before leaving for work.  Kale, kielbasa, onion, cubed potatoes, and homemade chicken stock.  So good and so perfect!

I went to bed right after dinner and read for a bit then it was lights out at 9pm.


Before hitting the gym I had three dried plums.

Scrambled eggs and sweet potato

Once I got home, as I was waiting on my breakfast to heat up I had one slice of bacon.  Breakfast was scrambled eggs with a bit of sausage, peppers, and onions.  On the side was a baked sweet potato.  Frothy coffee, same as Monday.

Lunch was a smoothie.


I know, but breakfast was filling and late so I didn’t feel like much lunch.  While I know that Whole30 does not want smoothies to be a part of the program and really doesn’t want one drinking their veggies and fruit, for me it’s a grey area. It helps me get in more greens and fruit for the day.  There’s no protein powder or anything weird in my smoothies so I feel comfortable including them.  I didn’t take a picture because we all know what smoothies look like.  This one was a basic smoothie for me:

  • 2.5 C Water
  • 2 Large Handfuls of Greens
  • 1.5 Frozen Bananas
  • 1/2C Frozen blueberries

Sometimes I’ll add in collagen if I haven’t had any in coffee.  This smoothie is enough for both Scott and I have to have some.  I also had a small handful of pork rinds. Mmmm.

Dinner was leftover soup from yesterday and it was delicious!

I placed an order with The Simple Grocer to get some Pederson’s meat products.  Their bacon, hams, and sausages are all sugar free and Whole30 friendly.  So far I’ve had the regular pork belly bacon, shoulder bacon, kielbasa, and breakfast sausage.  So freaking good!  The pork belly bacon is on the thin side and Scott and I smashed through a whole package in one sitting a few weeks back. Just a heads up if you’re used to thick center cut bacon.

The kielbasa is tasty and like the kielbasa that I’m used to.  The breakfast sausage is delicious!

If you’re doing Whole30 or looking to just cut back on added sugar, I would highly suggest checking out these products.


Fun Finds: Whole30 Snacks

Plantain Chips and Pork Rinds

Two snacks that I’m turning to this round of Whole30 are Plantain Chips and Pork Rinds.  Mmmmmm Pork.

The Plantain Chips I get at Trader Joe’s and the only ingredients are plantains and sunflower oil, both are Whole30 compliant. I snack on these chips as a stand alone as well as a side to a dish.  They are great with salsa and guac but are also awesome to dip in chicken or tuna salad.  That’s my favorite way to use them!

The Epic Pork Rinds I can get at Whole Foods.  It doesn’t list the oil used to fry the pork rinds which is odd but Epic is a solid company and I doubt they use something sketchy. The rest of the ingredients in the BBQ flavor are Whole30 compliant.  These pork rinds are the first ones I’ve found that I can tolerate.  Other pork rinds taste weird and overly porky to me.  The Epic ones are just right.  I can eat a few and it will help curb my hunger till I can eat a meal or bigger snack.  If you’re concerned about fats, these pork rinds only have 5gs of fat per serving.

One of the things that we have to keep in mind with “snacks’ on Whole30 is how we handle them.  They can’t be a replacement for junk and can’t be something that you’re going to mindlessly eat and then wonder how you ate an entire bag.

The snacks have to be something that you eat mindfully and know when to stop.  They can’t be food without brakes.  Part of the Whole30 journey is to start to understand our connection to food, what our triggers are, and how to handle that along with eating more mindfully and intuitively.

Neither of these two snacks are something that I will just inhale without thinking about it.  They are just handy little sides to have around for extra crunch.

If you’re looking for some Whole30 friendly snacks, take a look for these two things when you’re out on your next shopping trip.


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or promotional post. I’m just sharing info and products that I’ve found to be helpful and useful.


Is It Possible To Lose Weight With Strength Training And Not Count Shit


I’m in a situation that most of us find ourselves in at some point, we’re a little more fluffy than we’d like to be and we want to do something about it.

Right now I’m not a runner anymore.  I’d love to be a runner again but my stupid hip won’t stay on point and I’m not sure what I have to do to keep it strong and balanced.  It seems that doing leg exercises everyday is my only option at this point which seems silly. By that I mean, I was given exercises in physical therapy to do which helped but once I stopped doing them my hip went right back to being weak.  Doing them everyday for the rest of my life seems a bit much.

But I do CrossFit and I lift weights on the regular.  I thought for sure that I would lose some pounds and inches doing CrossFit and after a year of it, I have not.  That is beyond frustrating. Like what am I doing wrong? Maybe I’m not pushing myself hard enough? Or maybe it’s something in my eats?  I’m choosing to focus on eats right now.

I follow a bunch of weight lifters on Instagram and they fall into two camps; Those that act like since they lift they can eat junk and still look amazing (Side note, I unfollowed most of those, it was just too much).  Or those where they talk about counting macros and weighting their food and timing every bite they take, and all I keep thinking is, Dear God is that what it comes down to?

Because seriously? I don’t have time for that shit.

Oh I tried it counting things.  I watched calories and tried to count macros using My Fitness Pal and I could not do it.  I could never get my macros and calories to match up.  My macros were always under and not even close to what was prescribed to me. If I got my macros close to the numbers given to me then I was over calories for the day.   I gave it the good college try and did this for three months.  Not once did I ever get close to my numbers.  I also did not lose any weight during this time. (PS: I know that people usually either count one or the other but I was tasked with both.) I was freaking miserable counting stuff all the time.

When I was a runner, I lost weight no problem and did it by eating real foods without weighting or counting anything.

But now? I’m stuck.  To me portioning out meals for the day and eating chicken and broccoli every. single. day. Seems a bit much and not something I’m willing to do just to get the lean strong look I want.

I mean, can’t I eat whole real foods, limit or kick junk to the curb, and have a few drinks and still lean out?  Is that possible? Because all the lifters make it seem impossible unless you count and be sure to get your pre and post workout shakes/drinks/chemicals in!

And I’m not down with that.  There has to be a middle ground, right?  Something?