winning london

IMG_2454so, i haven’t been the best at blogging lately but i have good excuse: i’ve finally recovered from three weeks of work travel, which included eight days in england.

later this week, i’ll post about how i’ve gotten back on track and the new lifestyle tips i’m trying courtesy of dr. sara gottfried’s younger…but for now let’s talk travel, “celebrating,” little sleep, and cadbury chocolates. it’s safe to say i effectively undid all of january’s hard work in one week (my resting heart rate went from 49 to 65…my bad behavior quantified)–but for the most part, i felt like it was worth it.

eats – i hit up my favorite vegan blogger’s (deliciously ella) restaurantIMG_2413t not once but twice during my weekend stay in london. i had a hearty bean chili and a gorgeous coconut yellow curry… not to mention her brownies, which i still find myself thinking about. i also had some excellent indian (tikka masala is the national english dish after all), some pretty good greek with my tour guide, and a gorgeous (whole30 approved) breakfast of poached eggs, roasted duck, and sweet potatoes. i also managed to have a few classic english breakfasts during the week…i can’t get enough of the mushrooms…and the beans …and the blood pudding… and lastly, let’s talk cadbury. i ate an entire bag IMG_2438.JPGafter a kind coworker brought me some so i could test the theory that “it’s different in the uk than in the us.” the empirical evidence supports this truth o.O.

travel –  i was apprehensive at first but traveling alone was not half bad!  i did a hop-on-hop-off bus for about four hours on saturday with a stop at buckingham and walk around a rainy hyde park. sunday, i signed up for a group tour of the british museum, followed by a one-on-one walking tour and a tour of the national gallery. my tour guide was excellent (he also happened to be a tour guide to the stars, including bill gates and justin bieber) and i really felt like i got the most of out my day.

IMG_2456education and celebration – on monday i headed to birmingham for the hrd summit and awards ceremony. i hand’t heard the greatest things about the city, but everywhere we ate and walked seemed nice! tuesday and wednesday i attended the hr conference with some work colleagues. it was refreshing to know that the work i’m doing at ibm is current, if not ahead of industry standards for hr practices. the best part, of course was the awards ceremony for which my team won “innovation in organizational design and hr.” such a fun night of celebration for the last year and a half of hard work (also great knowing that i can put together an award-winning submission). and, drinking again was not that much of a shock to my system (perhpas i couldn’t tell if it was the trifecta of “bad” food, little sleep, 25349547137_482730aa4e_zand alcohol)…at least i felt like my tolerance hadn’t completely depleted.

friends – the best part of the week wasn’t the food or sites–it was the people i got to spend time with. starting with my alone time, then spending a lot of time with my work friends (family), and lastly, ending the week with my good friend amanada from college (god, i miss her!). i’m lucky to know such great people.

with all the fun i had above, my flight home was everything i felt i deserved for having too much fun. tired, with an upset stomach and a caffeine headache in middle seat on full flight with an extra two hours from headwinds. the guy next to me opened his italian dressing so it exploded all over my sweater and when i used the napkin from woman next to me her dr pepper spilled on my pants…i watched the movie wind river though–which i highly recommend.

that’s it for now. back to reality without extreme indulgence!



final stretch

only two more days…and then what??

traveling last week on the whole30 went really well thanks to my prep… and my staying near a whole foods. i certainly enjoyed my food (rave reviews for rx bars, vital proteins collagen coffee creamer, and my tuna and greens salads with tessame’s lemon dressing). i felt light and fresh everyday last week, and i had enough energy to complete a workout each morning (usually i’m naughty and skip at least one day when i’m traveling). the one time i met temptation was when everyone was drinking free wine during a working session…ugh my mouth is watering thinking about it now…but i held true to my convictions.

i’m back again this week and will probably extend my 30 days to 32–why not since i have the supplies and no big events?

speaking of big events. friday, i’m traveling to london for work. plane food is forever a no for me, so i may make it on whole30 until saturday. i plan to add alcohol back in…and to order as if i were on whole30 and restaurants cooked with clean ingredients–full well knowing things have soy, sugar, and such in them.

i find traveling to europe on a restrictive diet difficult–i’ve tried it 2x before (and failed). ha! so i might just cut myself a break here. i knew it was coming.

when i get back home i’m going to try to eat paleo as much as i can. more on that later.

time for bed! hope to update you all soon.

two-thirds of the way done thoughts

i’ve said it before–i’ll say it again. this whole30 is much easier than the first. i’d really like to eat this way permanently (with the exception of special occasions). that being said, the real test will be when i’m in new york for work next week. but, i’m excited for the challenge tbh…

in any case, here’s a my update on some of my health dimensions after three weeks of living right.

food and feelings – i still suffer from bouts of “eating food without breaks” (aka binging). whole30ers often encounter issues with foods like nuts/nutbutters and fruits…and that’s the case here. i’ve had some nuts and cashew butter that i no longer think i can keep in the house. i also need to limit myself to my nutmilk lattes (i’ve been drinking three a day). lastly, i have the propensity to graze on ground beef hash right out of the container when i’m bored…that needs to stop.

on a positive note, i’ve tired so many new recipes and hacks this whole30–i’ve been eating well and enjoying my time in the kitchen. and, i can’t get enough of franks hot sauce…!!

weight – i haven’t gotten on the scale in months. my clothes only fit slightly better. but weight wasn’t the number one reason i wanted to do this. that said, i need to rethink my portion sizes and “food without breaks” issues. if i stick to my travel plan for next week, i think that may have some impact…and shrink my stomach. i just need to be careful with portions at the whole foods hot bar…

exercise – i’ve been doing the hilliard studio method streaming service challenge x4 a week for the past three weeks while i wait for resolutioners at the ymca to dwindle. it’s been challenging, especially for my core, but i am getting a little sick of it. i do mix it up on the weekends; i went to spin for the first time in months friday evening…holy heck it was terrible but it’s the only exercise that gets my hr above 160. with all that said, next week i will be bringing my travel bands and doing that in conjunction with the hotel elliptical or stairs.

sleep – my sleep has been excellent. i think low stress at work may be the catalyst for that though. as it heats up again next week, if i find i have trouble sleeping and with stress, i am going to up my meditation to 2x a day and take l-theanine.

gut heath – my stomach has felt great–no gas or bloating. perhpas the biggest noticeable difference on the whole30. previously i think dark chocolate, alcohol, and high-fiber protein bars were causing discomfort …in addition to my gum addiction (which it feels great to be away from). reason enough to eat like this all the time.

skin – wow! mostly clear! my skin was unbelievably bad before the new year. probably the worst it’s ever been. there are a few factors at play here–far beyond whole30.

  • 1. my skin issues are definitely hormonal–next week will be the real test based on my cycles. but i’ve been taking spearmint (which helps with excess testosterone, a symptom of pcos, which i suspect i may have). in 2015 i took spironolactone, which worked really well (and made me lose a ton of water weight), but it’s too scary for me to take now. and, based on my extensive internet research spearmint has the same power but without the side effects. i’m a believer!
  • 2. again, low stress at work.
  • 3. i’m back to using 10% benzyol peroxide. i’ve always found it the most helpful of any wash/cream–more so than superscription even.

stress – as i alluded to above, i know that all of the positive benefits i’ve been this past few weeks cannot be attributed to the whole30 alone; stress at work is also at play…so i’m hoping as it gears up i’m able to manage it with the techniques i’ve been practicing: exercise (always); meditation; good sleep habits; and healthy eating (i will have to continue to take care with binging).

ok…that’s enough words for a post. wish me luck on my quest to find my fitz-ness while traveling next week!




whole30 travel: failing to plan…

who are we kidding–i’ve never failed to plan my food. or at least try to.

today i received word that starting next week, i’ll be traveling for the following three weeks (ny, ny, then england). luckily, i’ve been stock piling whole30 travel supplies. here’s what i plan to eat in new york for my final two weeks on of the month:


  • 1 rx bar
  • with 2 hard-boiled eggs from hotel buffet




  • whole foods buffet (hopefully!)–but packing some epic bars and extra nuts, rx bars, and creamers just in case

it’s going to take a lot of will power not to drink or dine out with my colleagues. if we do dine out (which is very likely) then i just need to do the best i can with the menu (and bring my own dressings).

whole30 hacks of the week

nothing more exciting than learning a new trick, testing it out, and having success!!

here are a few new things i’ve tried this past week that i’ll carry beyond my whole32 r2 experience:

  • instant pot spaghetti squash that i cut while kneeling on the floor. cutting the squash is usually the reason i avoid it (that and  long cooking times in the oven). it was so easy to get my force on it to slice in one go while on the floor. never cutting something large like that on the counter again.
  • stretching food with broth. i made a chili the other night but didn’t have enough for leftovers, so i made it into a soup by adding compliant broth. another neat way to re-purpose a food is to throw leftovers into a frittata.
  • sweet potato bowls (side note…almost wrote that as bowels o.O.) for a weekend treat when i’m sick of eggs. i microwaved frozen, plain, pureed sweet potato from tjs with some blueberries; added almond milk, coconut shreds, cinnamon, collagen, and flax; and then drizzled cashew butter on top. that might be considered swypo but it’s a satisfying change.
  • two words: marinated onions. the nocrumbs onions were a smash hit on top a massaged kale salad.
  • kombucha mocktails. who needs wine when you combine a bit of gts with 1/2 can la croix and a squeeze of blood orange? (jk…)

here are some i plan to try in the coming days:

  • homemade almond milk using a coffee press. i used my nutmilk bag to make some this weekend–it’s delicious but a made a mess. i’m going to try using my old coffee press this week.
  • magic mushroom powder. i cant get enough mushrooms these days. can’t wait to try this in my new food processor tonight.
  • bone broth for an afternoon snack (to replace my collagen).

learning and sharing. that’s my motto!

talk later,


my favorite bloggers

if you know me, you know that i’m very food centered… 80% my waking thoughts center on food and 80% of the people i follow on instagram are food bloggers!

here are some of the whole30/paleo/healthyish-related accounts that i find most useful:

  • the whole30recipes instagram page – this is where i find most of the bloggers i follow. each week, a new one does a takeover, and a lot of the content is really great and helpful.
  • Inspiralized – i own the kitchen aid spiralizer and both of Ali’s cookbooks. a lot of her recipes are, or can be, whole30 compliant. and, she’s a wake forest grad!
  • Just Jessie B – i like jessie because her recipes and tips are on par with my level of effort and capability–and she likes to shop at trader joes (my number one grocer). she also gives natural beauty suggestions.
  • The Real Food RDs – i like these ladies for their instant pot recipes; they’re the ones who inspired me to finally break down and get one. i use this shredded chicken recipe almost every week.
  • nocrumbsleft – terry is food stylist and some of her stuff is beyond my ability…but she does have some really great tips. excited to try her marinated onions next week. these things are taking the january 2018 whole30 by storm!

anyway, here comes the first whole30 challenge…the weekend. i’m looking forward to hitting up whole foods for their whole30 and nom nom paleo hot bar. i’ll also post on meal prep for week 2.

until then,


my whole30 necessities

this isn’t my first elimination diet rodeo. i completed one round in october 2015, and i also completed the gottfried method (eating for hormone balance for 2+ months) this past summer. so, in the spirit of learning and sharing, i thought i’d do a post on some of the essentials that i’ve picked up along the way:

  • nutpods – i use nutpods in my coffee, tea, and cooking; other nut creamers from the store don’t compare. they’re part of my subscribe and save shipment on amazon, and i have to limit myself to use one per week.
  • tea – i’m drinking tea 3-4x a day. republic of tea is my go-to brand. i currently love the reishi mushroom cocoa tea–it’s supposed to have anti-aging properties and it simply tastes like light chocolate. when i’m not on whole30, i like to make it into hot chocolate by adding nutpods, stevia, and 100% cocoa powder.
  • collagen – i use vital proteins marine and beef collagen peptides 2x a day. it serves as an excellent “snack” when i add it to coffee or tea with ~10g of protein per scoop.
  • avocado oil – it has higher smoke point than olive oil with a good clean taste.
  • gt’s kombucha – these unlock my “sugar dragon” so i only indulge on the weekends…same with all other fruit.
  • seltzer water – nothing more refreshing than bubbly water with a squeeze of lemon.

there are also some new additions this time around:

  • frank’s red hot sauce – not too spicy for my ever-evolving taste buds.
  • trader joe’s onion salt – holy cow this stuff is amazing. i put it on most veggies and meat that i make.
  • primal kitchen chipotle mayo – i love making hard-boiled eggs in my instant pot. i’ll chop them up, add in a tablespoon of mayo, and slap it on a bed of spinach with tomato, onion, and other veggies–and bam, there’s a very satisfying egg salad salad.
  • tessame’s ketchup – i tried this last week: not quite like ketchup but that’s ok…i wasn’t really looking for a ketchup replacement but something to make my meats less dry.
  • glass containers – part of the gottfried method asks you to move away from anything that might be a hormone disruptor (ie bpa). and, i find that pre-portioning out my meals works for me (it makes them last longer…ha). so, i recently bought a ton of meal prep containers on amazon. i also purchased a bunch of weck jars to replace all of my other plastic food storage containers. i’ll write more on my quest towards a non-toxic lifestyle in a future post.

i could go on and on about more products that i love–but i’ll leave at that for today.

until next time,