What I Ate Wednesday #3

Florida was a chilly 48-degrees when I walked out the door this morning. And in the words of one of my Kindergarten students, “Miss Baxter, this is SOOO unusual outside!!” Today was especially delicious due to my meal prep for the night before. Meal prep saves the day! Although, I may or may not have had to eat breakfast in the car due to my lack of desire to pry myself from my warm, toasty bed this morning.

Breakfast: Three scrambled eggs with a side of roasted broccoli and two slices of mouth-watering sugar-free bacon. Not to mention the fresh, tart taste of red raspberries. Mmmm. And it tastes even better in the car… NOT.Egg Breakfast

Tea Time: The chilly weather made me crave some warm Chamomile tea, which tasted lovely. I also paired my hot cup with a festive, Fall-flavored Pumpkin Pie Larabar. This thing is like a Fall party in your mouth people. Get on it!Tea Time Pumpkin Pie Larabar

Lunch: I decided to go Raw today for lunch. I made my own version of Raw Pad Thai filled with Dino kale, broccoli, carrot, green onion, cucumber, red cabbage, and green bell pepper. Plus a Spicy Jalapeño Coconut dressing made from coconut milk, jalapeño, ginger, lime, and green onion, which was all blended to creamy perfection.Raw Pad Thai Raw Pad Thai

A delicious gala apple and GT’s Enlightened Hibiscus Kombucha made this lunch extra special.

Dinner: I actually wasn’t very hungry this evening, so I went really simple. A Tessemae’s Cracked Pepper marinated chicken breast with good ‘ole fresh spinach.Tessamae's Cracked Pepper Chicken


In other news: My roommate and I just signed up for The Color Run – Orlando and we are SUPER excited. We’ll be reppin’ Team DyeHard so the training will be starting ASAP! The Color Run is the self-proclaimed “Happiest 5k On The Planet” and can you see why?!

How AWESOME does THAT look?! Plus, if you’re in the Orlando area and interested in joining our team, let me know! Or if you just want to run the race as an individual, I also would like to let you know that the PROMO CODE: “ORLANDO2” will give you $5-off your race fee! Baller on a budget! 😉

Color Run StrongOh I cannot WAIT for January 31st to arrive! Time to get running!

The Morning Battle

You may have realized this, but incase you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of things in this life that fight for our time and our attention. How you choose to spend your time and with who can have a great impact on your character, mood, and perspective on life as a whole.

What will you do with your hours?
What will you do with your hours?

I experienced this exact thing this morning. Here’s what happened:

8:28AM – I woke up, sent a text to check up on Austin, then immediately opened up my Instagram.

8:49AM – Finished up gazing at my iPhone screen and pouring over all my friends’ incredible pictures.

First off, the fact that I spent that much time scrolling through pictures first thing in the morning immediately makes me question my priorities, but besides that, I clicked off my phone and felt jealousybitterness, and low self-esteemWhy? I asked myself.

I saw some wonderful things:
Friends over in another country spreading the Gospel.
A couple who just got married.
A beautiful friend of mine with her bright smile.
Yet another friend literally hanging off the side of a mountain.
My sister laughing while spending an evening at Disney.

So what was wrong? Why wasn’t I celebrating these amazing life-experiences with the people who shared them. People who I care about. People who I should be JOYFUL for. I began to look back on my past week: I realized I did this every single morning.

Instead of waking up and spending time with my Savior, singing praises, reading Scripture, and whispering prayers, I was growing envious of my friends’ life-journeys with every swipe of my thumb.

My mornings have not been starting off properly. I have become ungrateful and jealous that I am not doing those things or having those experiences. I have lost sight of what God has been doing in my own life and that He should be the One I long for. So, I decided to make a change:

9:02AM – I turned on some worship music and spent time listening as I made breakfast, then joined in singing the beautiful truths about our Lord. Oh, Your Cross it changes everything. There my world begins and ends with You. I began to feel renewed and refreshed as I turned my focus back on the One who is everything.The Word of God

9:23AM – I sat down with the Word and read from 2 Corinthians 4 while my Egg Cups continued to bake in the oven. My eyes fell upon a verse I had underlined sometime ago, but after a good re-read, I thought it deserved an extra highlight as it related to where I was at this morning.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” — 2 Corinthians 4:18

2 Cor 4:189:37AM – I enjoyed my Egg Cups and continued to re-read over 2 Corinthians 4. God changed my heart’s perspective and showed me that my ultimate treasure is Him and the Gospel. I am refocused and at peace. I am ready to take on the day, or rather the gift that God has blessed me with. Egg CupsEgg Cups


So where does this leave me? Do I need to delete my Instagram account and ignore all the things others are doing? No, but I do need to remain fixed on Christ and long for Him more than the things of this life. I need to change my priorities and for me, this starts at the very moment I wake up. This is a daily battle. It won’t end today. In fact, I may experience this again later on this evening. I need to surrender those feelings and anxieties to God. I want to celebrate with my family and friends and the amazing blessings they receive. I want to be joyful and grateful for my life I have been given and give all the glory to my Creator.

This may not have been a post about food or exercise.
But I hope it gives you some food for thought and a way to exercise your spirit.

Ultimately, the Paleo-diet may physically change your life, but I care more that the Almighty God of the Universe changes your heart, mind, and soul.

For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.
🙂

 

Life After Whole30, Now What?

I did it!
Wahhhoooo!
Yippee Yay-o Ky-eh!

BOOM

For REAL this time! 😉


This morning felt a bit like a dream. Usually every morning I have every meal planned out for the day and I know EXACTLY what foods are in it. I had nothing planned today. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did have some plans, in fact, I have been dreaming of this Day “31” and the foods I would consume. If you had asked me a little over a week ago, I would have told you that my meal plan for today would look something like this:

October 4, 2014 Meal Plan (Post-Whole30)

Breakfast: Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks, Pumpkin Donut from Dunkin Donuts, and a bowl of Captain Crunch; just to celebrate.
Lunch: Chocolate, Tacos with lots of chips and salsa, but not in that order; because I can.
Snack: Did I mention Pumpkin Spiced Lattes? I’ll take another now.
Dinner: More chocolate, a big plate of Pasta (but I’d add veggies) and maybe a glass of wine; I did the Whole30, remember?!
Dessert: ICE CREAM. Obvi

But something AMAZING happened when I woke up this morning… I didn’t want to “ruin it”. Even better than that, I enjoyed the way I have been eating the past 30 days. I felt energized and healthy. I have felt as though I was thriving off of all the veggies, fruits, grass-fed meats, nuts & seeds I have been eating– not to mention the amount of coconut I have consumed. It had been an amazing journey, but this is only the beginning! This is a lifestyle change, not just a 30-day challenge for me.

My day did not look like the way I had planned a few weeks ago…
This is how October 4th really went down:

I woke up after a full 8-hours of sleep and drank a giant refreshing glass of water with mint + lime. Starting off hydrated as I have been doing for the past 30 days.Mint Lime WaterI made Cinnamon Fig Pancakes without the help of Bisquik or Aunt Jemima, using all Paleo-approved ingredients.
Figs! I added figs to my pancakes! What has happened to me?!Cinnamon Fig Pancakes Cinnamon Fig PancakesAustin and I stopped in Wawa to get some coffee and I got mine black. No sugar. No milk. No creamer. Just black. My “usual” no longer includes a flavored-syrup & creamer. I enjoyed my lovely treat while watching a morning football game.Make It Black CoffeePost-football, I was inspired as we waltzed around the local market by all the brilliantly colored fruits and vegetables, so I knew a salad would be coming for lunch.Produce BrillianceThen lunch happened– yes, lunch! At this point I was “supposed to” eat copious amounts of tortilla chips & salsa with tacos, but no. No tacos here. Instead, a giant Pad Thai Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing and a side of my Mojito-style Watermelon.

Raw Pad Thai SaladFruits, veggies and seeds– not a trace of taco to be found.Raw Pad Thai Salad Finally, my snack came around and it was time to attack that Milkyway I had been saving up. Well, I did have chocolate, but a single square of Paleo-approved dark chocolate with sea salt. That was all, just a small square. It was quite sweet and I only desired a taste. A workout happened today too! I spent time outside in the morning and got my sweat on in the evening. It was a beautiful night for a circuit workout + run.SunsetDinner included spaghetti squashroasted green beans, and chicken breast. Pasta was the farthest thing from my mind. No desire for that junk over here.Dinner Time

So what is going on with me? CHANGE. The kind that I want to be permanent. My experience with Whole30 has truly changed my life and I’m sticking with it. Not only are all these things from my last post still true, but after the complete Whole30 I have also noticed:

1) Weight-loss: I wasn’t doing this for any weight change, but for those of you who are skeptical and a bit “fat-phobic”, I lost 6 pounds while consuming coconut milk, fresh coconut, avocado and olive oil as part of my meals. I have always stared at fat grams on labels my entire life, so it took some trust, but I now know that these healthy, quality fats have made me feel full and satisfied after eating a meal and are essential to our health.

2) My nails, though: I know I posted about this already, but I simply cannot get over how quickly my hair and nails were growing!

3) Clearer skin: I’ve been on every acne medication under the sun. Even at the age of 24, I am still battling adult-hormonal acne issues. Also, keratosis psoriasis has been taking over the back of my arms since I was a teen. Both of these things have significantly decreased on my skin. I have stopped taking acne medication all together (the first time in quite some time) and during these thirty days I hardly have had a problem.

4) Love for cooking & new foods: I am constantly creating new recipes and sampling new fruits and vegetables. I can taste the slight sweetness in “unsweetened coconut milk”. Fresh mint, cilantro and basil are potent flavors to meals. I enjoy my time in the kitchen and look forward to meal planning. My attitude has completely changed about what “food” is and how it changes my health.


Overall, I know this post is crazy long, but I cannot tell you enough how this has completely turned my perspective around about food and health. I encourage you to at least try it for the thirty days to discover this for yourself.Tiger Blood

Real food and an active body is life-changing. 

TWENTY DAYS: A Whole30 Update

BOOM. DAY TWENTY.
It’s not over yet, but I am pretty darn proud of myself so far, PLUS all these great things are happening…

But first, can we talk about the irony of my calendar?
Thanks a lot Betty Crocker…Cinnamon Roll Calendar1) I feel like a super hero.
I am a pretty energetic person in general, you know those crazy extraverted types, but this is a different kind of energy. I am not as sluggish or tired during the day. I don’t feel like sitting for hours after eating a meal. When I workout I feel like I can actually tackle the workout rather than just get through it. Overall, I feel energized and able to enjoy the day that I have been given! And that feeling rocks. 🙂Super Duper

2) My hair and nails are growing fast.
And strong too! I first noticed in my nails due to their lack of breakage. Usually my nails will grow nicely, but they break or peel the second I bump into anything. Currently, that’s not the case. So… that’s pretty neat. Then, someone complimented how long my hair was getting and after taking a good look in the mirror I was actually surprised to notice the same! Nails!

3) My rest is quality rest.
First, concerning my sleep. I always need an alarm clock to tell me when to pop out of bed to press snooze 6 times on every morning, but now not only do I sleep through the night, but I also wake up every day at 6:30am like clockwork. Not that I enjoy getting out of bed (hello, I’m not crazy), but at least it is a much easier process. Secondly, resting during the day. After reading the importance of the “play hard; rest hard” mentality, I have done my best to take some time to read, draw, journal and listen to music– even if only for 15 minutes. This time has also made a difference in the way I mentally, emotionally, and spiritually approach the day.

4) I feel a need to be outside and move.
What first started out as dragging myself outside to run or workout, then turned into a wonderful experience. I used to be an avid runner, but once transferring from college to “the real world”, that motivation dissipated. When making my Whole30 goals, I wanted to be active at least half of the days during the challenge. Maybe its something about putting a little gold star on the calendar that makes me feel proud of myself. Although now, I actually want to get in a run or workout. On top of that, I want to head outside to do it, or drive down to the park. I want to experience God’s handiwork and move those muscles. Great Outdoors Tree View Splash of Color

And the best for last…
5) I don’t really want the sugar, breads, or junk foods anymore.
With the exception of dark chocolate, I now look at pasta, rolls, sugary cereals, and baked goods and cringe. CRINGE, I TELL YOU! What is happening?! Something about knowing all those ingredients (especially the chemically created ones) and what they do to our bodies makes me think twice about my food choices. Better than that, I am able to look at a plate of cookies or basket of bread and not want it. It’s like we’ve broken up and I no longer feel anything for them.

Ooooo... Look at all the artificial colors and flavorings!
Ooooo… Look at all the artificial colors and flavorings!

And this is only day twenty! I can’t wait to get to Day 30 and shout “Hip! Hip! Hurray!” Perhaps not those exact words, but you catch my drift. I hope you all are well and enjoying your week! If you’re participating in the Whole30 don’t forget to celebrate each of these milestones! 🙂