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

Life After Whole30, Now What?

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


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. 

Are You a Baller on a Budget?

If so, my only words for you are “ditto“.

Well, not my only words for you… but I do know how you feel. I also know that healthy eating can be quite the pretty penny, so you may want some tips on how to stick to your clean eats without cleaning out your wallet. I’m currently following the Whole30 program (for the second time, let’s do it) and I have been trying to make it without hashing out all my earnings. Here are some of my first-hand experiences with saving money and eating well!veggies like whoa

1. Prioritize: Local! Organic! Grass-Fed! All these crazy (but important) labels on your food can bump up the price. When thinking about your grocery budget, prioritizing where to spend your money can help. For example, you may have heard of the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen, it is recommended that you go organic with those dirty dozen. From personal experience, I make my main focus my quality of meat: Grass-fed beef, Wild-caught fish & Organic Chicken, then get my fruits and veggies from a local produce market.Meat Market

2. Shop Around: You may feel silly at first, but it is so worth the effort. I have a “note” on my phone categorized by grocery store. I list which items I buy most often such as Larabars, Coconut Oil/Flour, Almond Milk, etc under each grocery store. I also add the price it costs at that store. After some detective work, I have managed to find the cheapest prices for those items. This has been tremendously helpful when picking a grocery store. I just check what’s on my grocery list and head to the store with the cheapest prices!

             Really Noted    Noted

3. Couponing/Store Loyalty/Apps: I know this is one of those “well duh” things, but you’d be surprised how many savings you can compile by taking some time to come to the store prepared. JUST DO IT. A friend I used to work with would say, “Anyone can buy something at full price, only the skilled can walk in and get it 80% off“. I agree! Check coupons! Store ads! Apps!It's SUPERR

For example: At Target, I check the ad before I shop, but also the Cartwheel app, which allows you to CHOOSE up to 11 savings on the items of your choice. On top of that, Target offers a 10-cent discount for every reusable bag you bring in. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Target also offers Mobile Coupons you can add to your Passbook. Do you hear the little cha-ching going off in your head?! That’s a whole lot of savings if you just look around for it! Same thing goes for other stores too.

Hello, my little money-saving friends.
Hello, my little money-saving friends.

4. Scratch It: Making things from scratch when you can will give you more bang for your buck, as the saying goes. Do you really need your $4.15 latte from Starbucks? Even though it is delicious, trust me, I’m aware… The answer is more than likely no. Make it at home. Do you really need to spend $8 on a burrito bowl from Chipotle? Again, no. I understand when you’re super busy and have no time, but as much as you can help planning ahead and making things at home, do it. It will pay off.

And there you have it! There’s more where that came from too! Maybe I’ll do a “Part 2” in the near future. For now, enjoy these tips and don’t just read them: DO THEM! It will help out bunches and you’ll be less sad when looking at your bank account. Plus, you’ll feel awesome due to eating like a champ.

Whole30 Update: I haven’t shared much on this yet, but I am participating in the Whole30 program. I have attempted this before, but didn’t finish. Now, I am back on the horse and going to COMPLETE it! I felt incredible after the first 15 days, I can only imagine what 30 will feel like. I’ll be posting more about it soon!

Thanks for following The Thrive Life!

Have you tried Whole30? What was your experience like?

Lazy Man’s Lunch

For the days you don’t feel like cooking or just want to switch things up!IMG_9614
I’m logging Day 7 of Whole30 and wanted a lunch that would satisfy, but not require much work. My inspiration came from the idea of an antipasto platter + the contents of my fridge. Instant lunch opportunity.

Kitty FoodThe kitten thought it was a great idea too.

Some things you might want to add to your Lazy Man’s Lunch platter (or “Lazy Woman” if you prefer to be technical):

1. VEGGIES: A serious amount of veggies. In multiple colors too, if you can help it. I used what I happen to have on hand. Fill up at least half your plate of some of these delicious and nutritious bites!
2. Protein: For me, I used some Whole30 approved lunch meat since it was nice and easy to throw together. Leftover chicken breast or pre-cooked sausage can be simple and quick too!
3. Fat: Make sure your meal is balanced out with some quality fats! Not pictured was my iced coffee I drank with 1/3 cup of full-fat coconut milk. You can also consider choosing olives or avocado to put on your plate.
4. Fruit (optional)If you haven’t already eaten your serving or two of fruit for the day, feel free to toss some on your plate too!

IMG_9610And it’s kitten approved too! Now pardon me while I save my lunch from this feline…

Coconut Kick Tilapia

For the moment when you really would love some coconut shrimp, but all you have is tilapia in your freezer.

Coconut Tilapia
Coconut Kick Tilapia
(serves 2)
2 Tilapia Filets
1 Egg
2 tsp Hot Sauce (or more if you like it hot!)
2 tbsp Coconut Flour
3 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Coconut oil (for greasing)
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450-degrees.
2. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.
3. Place egg, hot sauce, and 1 tbsp water in a bowl; mix together until egg is scrambled.
4. Place coconut flour and coconut flakes in a second bowl; mix together until combined; season with a few dashes of salt & pepper.
5. Dredge tilapia in egg bowl, then coconut flake bowl; place on baking sheet. Repeat with second filet.
6. Sprinkle any remaining coconut on tilapia.
7. Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes.

This is COCONUTS!And I paired this delicious spin on the classic coconut shrimp with some roasted zucchini!
I hope you enjoy it too! 🙂