Whole30 Days 10 & 11: Survival Tips for “The Hardest Days”

If you’re also at Day 10 & 11 of Whole30, welcome.
If you’re not here yet, get ready.
If you’ve already passed Day 10 & 11 successfully, CONGRATS!

As stated on the Whole30 blog Day 10 & 11 are the most difficult days during the Whole30 program. Here’s an excerpt from their Revised Timeline:

By this point, the newness of the program has worn off. You’ve made it through most of the unpleasant physical milestones, but you’ve yet to experience any of the “magic” the program promises. You’re still struggling to establish your new routine (read: you’ve eaten eggs prepared ten different ways over the last ten days), and while you’ve been trying really hard to have a good attitude, today you are incredibly aware of all the foods you’re “choosing not to eat right now.”  Everywhere you look, you see the things you “can’t” have: the melted cheese on a greasy burger, the creaminess of that double-scoop cone, the cold beer in your best friend’s tailgate cooler. Dammit, this is hard! And right now you’re wondering if the results will really be as good as “they” all say it is.

Look At All the FoodThis could not be more true. SEVERAL times over the past two days, I noticed an increase in my awareness of all the foods I “can’t eat”. The psychological hold my food habits have on me came into full effect. I haven’t seen many physical changes yet. My body is tired after all my workouts and I’m still waiting to start feeling strong.

All this being said, as Day 11 comes to a close, there were a few things that helped me make it through. Hopefully, you’ll find these tips as helpful! 🙂

1. Exercise in the AM: I know this is difficult for some of your schedules, so better to exercise at any point than not at all. When I exercise in the morning, first thing, it sets the tone for the rest of my day. Intentionally starting off with a workout, even if it is just a quick one, can lay the foundation for a healthy day. So if your Day 10 & 11 are approaching, make sure to get to bed early the night before, just so you can tear it up in the morning! Doing this can be a HUGE motivating factor to stick with your new eating habits throughout the day.

2. Drink LOTS of Water: Throughout these days, you’ll start to feel hungry at random times throughout the day when you’re not actually hungry. More than likely, you’re actually dehydrated. Keeping a constant source of water handy and sipping throughout the day will aid those craving battles. What if water isn’t doing the trick? Grab a LaCroix Sparkling Flavor Water! Not only are these sparkling beauties #Whole30Approved, but it also adds some flavor and bubble to your water routine.LaCroix Waters

3. Do something FUN: Squeeze a little fun time in your day. Play a sport with a friend. Dance in your living room. Find a playground and get on the swing. Read in your favorite comfy chair. Whatever it may be, use this fun time as a chance to fully immerse yourself in an activity that doesn’t revolve around food. I would even shy away from meeting a friend at a coffee shop– hang out at the pool or park instead. This allows you an opportunity to engage in life and not stress about those foods haunting your dreams. 😉

4. Make yourself accountable: Chances are by this point a few people know about your Whole30 Challenge. Pick one or two of those people and keep them around close on these days. Having others around you will alleviate some of the pressure you feel when you’re alone. If they cannot physically be around, make sure to shoot them a text or call them up for a good pep talk when things are getting hard!

Just remember, STAY STONG! You GOT THIS!
You’re already a third of the way there and now is NOT the time to give up, friends! Zoodles & Ghee

Quick & Easy Whole30 Meal Ideas

See these two lovebirds? They’re my adorable parents…
Everybody say, “Awwwww“.LovebirdsThese two embarked on their first Whole30 today! And now it’s on the Internet Mom & Dad, so you have to stick to it. The people know! My mother asked about some quick & easy Whole30 Approved meal ideas. As I was typing I got to thinking that just maybe this would be of interest to some of you. So, in honor of Bob & Jen… Let’s do it:

Breakfast:
– Scrambled Eggs (3) + Sugar-Free Bacon (3) + Roasted Broccoli
– Breakfast Frittata with assorted veggiesCheery Breakfast– Roasted Hash: sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and garlic; roasted in olive oil + Sausage – all chopped and tossed together in a bowl!
Coconut Milk & Chia Seed Pudding (without sweetener) + fresh berries
– Spinach Banana Smoothie: 3 cups spinach + 2 tbsp almond butter + 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk + banana (but eat something else with it!)Strawberry-Banana-Spinach Breakfast Sausage Patties over a bed of Kale + Roasted Sweet Potatoes
– Omelets filled with whatever vegetables you’d like! 🙂
– Egg Cups: Bacon + Egg + Veggies; all baked together in one cupcake pan in just 20 minutesEgg Cups

 Lunch/Dinner:
**I put this category together because I almost always make dinner for two and save the extra for lunch. 2-in-1 meals for the WIN! :)**
– Tilapia + fresh salsa + steamed veggies (TIP: Tilapia takes 5 minutes at 500-degrees in the oven AND you can steam veggies in the microwave.. no excuses)
– Beef Burger over Spinach + slices of Tomato & Onion + Sauteed MushroomsDelicioso– Spaghetti Squash + meatballs + tomato sauce (check the label for sugar)- Taco-seasoned Ground Beef over lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper… instant Taco Salad!
– Applegate Farms Prosciutto wrapped around Apple Slices + small side salad
– “Zoodles” (zuchinni noodles) tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper topped with Grilled Chicken and Diced TomatoesRoasted Veggies & Squash– Hard Boiled Eggs + fresh veggies + handful of almonds or cashews
– Shrimp Kebabs: bell pepper, squash, zucchini, and shrimp coated in olive oil & grilled + squeeze of lime
– Stir Fry: chicken + any veggies + coconut amines + hot sauce; cook in sauté pan and DONE
Lazy Man Plate: protein + veggies + fruit + nut/seed (no cooking required)Lazy Man's Lunch Lettuce Wraps: Romaine Lettuce Leaves + Ground Chicken + Cucumber + Tomato + Balsamic Vinaigrette (check labels)
– Soup in the Crockpot (or anything in the Crockpot, really); just set it and forget it! 😉
French Onion Soup


I hope this helps you in your Whole30 journey! This is by no means an exhausted list, but just an option for you to glance over when you’re short on time and in need of a “real food meal” that’s Whole30 Approved!

For more recipes for Whole30, check out my recipes page for more ideas & tips!

Inspiralized

BIG NEWS! I officially am the owner of a spiralizer, thanks to my wonderful mother and her willingness to part with hers. SCORE!

Before I move forward I would love to answer that question you’re pondering: Yes, “spiralizer” is a word and no, it is not a special weapon made up in some action-comicbook series. Seriously, Google it. I’ll wait…

See? Good, now back to the spiralizer and all its glory. Ain’t she a beaut?SpiralizedPasta used to be one of my favorite meals. Though, I’m not talking about your average spaghetti and red sauce here… #basic. I’m talking about the what seemed to be endless combinations of delicious sauces, proteins, and vegetables all intertwined with ribbons of wheat & gluten-filled goodness. Mmmm. I was always coming up with new creations when making pasta; plus, it was an easy meal for a college kid to throw together and make a “one-pot wonder meal”.

Now that the pasta days have basically come to an end, I have been hankering to get my hands on one of these spiralizers to make ribbons of veggie pastas. ZOODLES FOR ALL!Ooodles of ZoodlesMy original thought was to dazzle you with a ton of Paleo-friendly spiralized pasta recipes, but then I realized one awesome lady, by the name of Ali, over at Inspiralized.com has an entire BLOG dedicated to all things spiralized. Seriously, look at how mouth-watering some of these photos are:IMG_4282-copy IMG_4477-copy Turnip Noodles

I mean… TURNIP NOODLES? I don’t know that I would have ever thought of that. Dang, she’s good. But wait, there’s more! We need not limit ourselves with pasta over here, friends. I have started to experiment in the chip-department with my regular Sweet Potato Chip recipe, but with using the spiralizer rather than the mandolin. Which, for me, is safer since I my fingers constantly seem to gravitate towards the blade when using a mandolin. Safety, for the win!Spiralized Sweet Potato ChipsSpiralized Sweet Potato ChipsAll this being said, I am super excited to add this gadget to my kitchen and I can’t wait for more recipe-creating opportunities it will bring! Maybe it will inspire you as well to test one of these out!

Do you own a spiralizer? If so, what is your favorite thing to “spiralize”? If not, then what is your favorite go-to kitchen gadget? 🙂

Pumpkin Seeds: Three Ways!

STOP! Wait! Don’t throw out those pumpkin seeds! YES. I’m talking to YOU.

Okay this post may be a tad late after all that pumpkin carving happened over Halloween, but I have been sick for the past two weeks (cold AND flu, yuck) so I fell off the grid for a while. AND NOW I’M BACK: Heerrrreeee’s Victoria!!! So, if you happen to still be scooping out pumpkins during the rest of the fall season, or would like to save this post for next year, here is a delicious healthy snack so you can get more bang for your buck with your pumpkins!Pumpkin Seed SnacksOh, they are just waiting to be all roasted up, seasoned, and snacked on!! 😉

First and foremost, make sure you clean off all your seeds and pull them away from the pulp. Then, wash thoroughly in colander and drain. Finally, dry out your pumpkin seeds. I placed mine on a baking sheet (as pictured above) and let them sit out all Saturday afternoon. Once your seeds have had a nice tan, you can proceed with the recipe. Onward…Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300-degrees.
2. Toss seeds in olive oil.
3. Season to desired taste (pick a blend below!)
4. Toast seeds for 20 minutes, or until golden and crispy! Then, chow down!

Season Blends:
Sweet – cinnamon + coconut sugar
Salty – sea salt
Italian – garlic powder + basilCinnamon Pumpkin Seeds

Sea Salt Pumpkin Seeds

Italian Pumpkin Seeds

You can snack on these alone, sprinkle on salads, or use to top on some creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for a warm meal on a cool Fall day! Oh just think of the possibilities! How else do you enjoy pumpkin seeds?

Again, sorry for being away for a while. I hope this recipe fills your house with a delicious Autumn scent and your tastebuds are left tingling! Be on the lookout for more recipes and healthy tips with The Thrive Life!

Tips for Being a Dinner Guest on a Special Diet

Whether you’re Paleo, or following the Whole30 program, or just trying to stick to healthy eating habits, it can be daunting when someone invites you over and you immediately go into a tizzy about what you’re going to eat and if you’ll be tempted by all the deliciousness that is sure to be available at the party/dinner/bbq/etc. WILL THERE BE CARROT STICKS AVAILABLE?! Ah!Autumn Party

Fear not, friends. You can do this AND enjoy your time with your friends and/or family.
This just calls for a little preparation.

1) Ask the host about the menu.
My lovely friend Lauren, from The Thinking Closet, had our church’s children’s theater team over her house for a fun Fall Party & BBQ. I LOVE seeing the words “BBQ”. You can pretty much guarantee that there will be a plain hot dog, hamburger, or chicken breast available. She included some food details in the invite, so I didn’t need to ask further questions, but don’t feel embarrassed about asking the host if needed. It’s also a great opportunity to sneak in a question about what to bring: “I wanted to know what was being provided so I make something different to bring for our dinner!” See? Not frightening, nor hard.Thrive Life & Thinking Closet

2) If you feel comfortable, tell the host about your dietary restrictions.
This is just if you feel close enough to the host (maybe it’s your mother or your best friend) and you want to just double-check about having something available to munch on. You don’t need to do this, especially because of my next step, but if you feel okay doing so… go for it.Dinner Table

3) Bring a dish to share that you can eat too!
This is a win-win. Not only are you being all courteous and whatnot by bringing a dish to said dinner/bbq/party/whatever, but you also now have provided a healthy addition to the meal that you know, without a doubt, is perfectly suited for your diet. Generous and nutritious, look at you go!

4) BYOC
Seriously. Bring your own chocolate. There is a 99% chance there will be some type of sweet available to you at the party. Most likely cake, brownies, cookies, or cupcakes. There is also a 99% chance that these items are not Paleo-friendly, unless you brought them. Trust me, those stats are all legit. With all that being said, get yourself some Paleo-approved chocolate and use it to satisfy the sweet tooth that is sure to come your way while everyone else is enjoying cake and eating it too. This particular evening Eating Evolved’s Mint Creme Dark Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups were my sidekicks while cupcakes were being consumed by other guests.Mint Creme Coconut Butter Cups5) Be present.
Don’t get consumed with what you can and cannot eat. Enjoy the time with your family and friends! Meet someone new! Get in on the games! Laugh! Talk! Have fun and don’t fix your mind on food. 🙂Party 1 Party 2


Thank you Lauren for having us all over to celebrate the Fall season and enjoy some laughs, great food, and wonderfully entertaining games + conversations!

What are some things you do to stick to your healthy eating habits when enjoying outings & events?