I’m not even going to apologize for how long it’s been between posts because I honestly didn’t even know if I would ever have time to pick up this blog again! But I was just so dang excited to tell you about this product that I had to make an appearance.
Soon after I re-started my blog with the new better beauty direction, I got a new job — a new job that consumes almost every waking moment of my life (in a good way, if that’s possible!). My commute is long, I travel a fair amount for work, and I’m still adjusting to life in the Bay. I love (almost) every moment of it, but I miss having actual hobbies.
One of my 2014 hopes is that I can make more time for blogging because I love talking beauty products and I love experimenting with new ones… and then telling you about them. I’ve realized over the past couple months that although I definitely do want to stay focused on BETTER beauty products, it’s not realistic for me to buy 100% Filthy Fifteen-free products 100% of the time. So I might include some products that aren’t necessarily better ingredient-wise, but are hopefully better in other ways.
The product I’m here to talk about today, however, is completely free of any Filthy Fifteen ingredient. In fact, it only has one ingredient.
I was so dreading the search for a “natural” deodorant. For me, a better deodorant means one free of aluminum chlorohydrate, the controversial ingredient in deodorant. Or in other words, the ingredient in deodorant that actually works. I’ve tried Toms before and was thoroughly unimpressed, and then more recently, I tried an Alba version that was just like the Toms. It just didn’t stop stank or sweat at all, and the “natural” scent combined with my natural odor actually smelled worse to me than nothing at all. Also, many of the “natural” deodorants I saw still contained Fragrance (Parfum), which is technically a no-no, even if it is ambiguous.
To say I was pleasantly surprised with Crystal deodorant is an understatement. I mean, I had SUPER low expectations for this stuff. First of all, it’s weird. You have to wet it to put it on, and I hate wet-feeling deodorants (I hate the gel ones). Secondly, it literally looks like a rock crystal, which is super weird. It essentially is a rock — its only ingredient is natural mineral salts.
But surprise, guys, it actually works! I would say I get a good 12-15 hours out of this stuff without smelling anything nasty. It has no natural scent, so my armpits basically smell like whatever soap I used before I put it on. I do highly recommend applying it directly out of the shower because like I said, it tends to just make your armpits smell like whatever they smelled like when you put it on — which means it doesn’t necessarily cancel out any odor you may already have, it just prevents NEW odor. Now for the breakdown…
What it costs: Around $5-7. Doesn’t seem particularly insane for deodorant, right? I’ve also seen it in spray form, which I haven’t tried.
What it says it does: “Kills odor causing bacteria for up to 24 hours without the use of synthetic fragrance or harmful chemicals. Gentle. Non-sticky. Non-staining.”
What’s in it: Literally just the one.
What it smells/feels like: It smells like nothing. I kinda wish it had a pretty scent, but on the other hand, I’d rather not mix eucalyptus or whatever with BO smell. It also dries instantly, meaning it never feels wet despite having to wet it before application. Love that.
What it actually does: Definitely keeps me odor-free for at least 12+ hours (workout tested). Definitely works better when I use it fresh out of the shower than if I’m reapplying after not having showered, but still not bad even on reapplication.
Would I repurchase: Already have! I convinced my hubs to get the men’s version, which is exactly the same as the women’s version except with different packaging. I’ll ding them a bit for the sexist marketing (if it’s literally the same product, why not a gender-neutral package?!).
Better Beauty Rating (Worse, Okay, Good, Better, Best): Hands-down, Better. Almost gave it a Best except for a couple things: 1) it gets kind of messy. The natural minerals kind of leak out of the package. And 2) it doesn’t smell like anything, which sometimes bug me. Sometimes, I want to lift my arms and have it smell like flowers, you know?! I saw on their website that they sell some deodorant sprays with natural fragrance (“Cobalt Sky,” among others), but I can’t tell what’s in them. I’d definitely experiment with those.
All in all, I highly recommend this product. It even works on stankier, smellier dudes AND doesn’t make me feel self-conscious when I’m working out.
So for the holiday season, I give you a natural deodorant that legit works. Happy holidays, and may you use better deodorant in the new year.
Perusing the drugstore just got a LOT less fun now that I have much stricter standards for what I can try. So it’s a fun surprise when I come across a drugstore brand that truly meets my criteria. I picked up the above SheaMoisture products on a recent trip to Walgreens, but you can also find the line at Target and CVS.
SheaMoisture is a line of organic hair, bath, body, and shave products made with all-natural ingredients. And I mean truly, guys. There’s nothing shady on the ingredient lists . Here’s the list for the Reconstructing Finishing Elixir:
The prices are a little steeper than your average drugstore hair care product, but definitely worth it to find better hair care at the drugstore!
Much of SheaMoisture’s hair care line (the only products I’ve tried so far) seem to be formulated for people with courser, curly hair. My hair falls somewhere on that spectrum, but it’s probably on the straighter, less-course end. I have weird hair that can be frizzy, wavy, curly, thin, or thick depending on the day (yeah, it’s fun). SheaMoisture products definitely seem to calm down and de-frizz my hair, but I have to be careful about using too much of any product, otherwise it’s oil city.
I’ve actually been using the Reconstructing Finishing Elixir as a moisturizing body spray because I’ve found that using it on my damp hair just makes it look greasy. I haven’t tried using it on dry hair, though.
My favorite product of the three I’ve tried so far is definitely the Thickening Growth Milk. I’m not sure how thickening it is, but it definitely de-frizzes my hair without weighing it down. Oh! And I used to have this Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Mist, which is nice for refreshing curls and smells amaaaaazing. I kept it in my desk at work and every time I sprayed it, I would get comments like “What smells like a beach?! I WANT TO GO TO THERE.” I think I’ve also tried a body scrub at some point, but I can’t remember which one.
I will absolutely be trying more of SheaMoisture’s line — I’m interested in trying some of their non-hair care items! Have you guys tried the SheaMoisture line? What did you think?
Alsoooo, would you want to see a detailed review of any of the above products? If so, which one?
Note: I purchased this product with my own monies.I promise to let you all know if I ever review a product that I didn’t buy myself!
When did stores stop carrying bubble bath?! Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t been able to find plain old bubble bath at a drugstore or Target-type place in a long time. I usually end up using body wash as bubble bath, which doesn’t work as well (obv).
So imagine my surprise when I find not one, but like five varieties of straight up body wash at a natural pharmacy/drugstore I visited recently! One of them was Everyday Shea's take on bubble bath, and I have to say, I'm really into it. The bath tub in my last place didn't work, but now that I have a functioning tub, I'm re-obsessed with baths… and these bubbles make them even better.
What it looks like:
Pretty basic bubble bath-y looking package. I guess it’s nice that you can see how much you have left. You definitely don’t need a lot of product to get a ton of bubbles.
What it costs:$13.99 online, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay that much in the store. $13.99 is kinda pricey for bubble bath, right?! I want to say this was under $10 in the store, but unfortunately, I can’t remember and don’t have the receipt.
What it says it does: “This naturally foaming, non-irritating, gentle bubble bath is handmade with moisturizing, Certified Fair Trade shea butter to nourish and soften your skin. Infused with fresh herbal extracts - clary sage to uplift the spirits and calm nerves, and African yam to help regulate mood and promote relaxation.”
What’s in it: Here’s a picture of the ingredient list since they don’t list the ingredients online:
Nothing on my Filthy Fifteen list! Love the uber-short ingredient list full of completely recognizable stuff.
What it smells/feels like: This stuff definitely has an herbal/medicinal scent that I wouldn’t necessarily describe as Vanilla Citrus Mint at all. In fact, all I can really smell is lavender with maybe a hint of citrus. I have a feeling many of my Better Beauty products will end up smelling like lavender. Sighhhhh… if only I liked lavender better. That said, the smell isn’t terrible, it’s just not amazing.
What it actually does: Makes lots of bubbles! I loooove the bubbles I can get with this stuff. They last the whole time I’m in the bath (maybe 15-30 minutes) without totally deflating, and they feel totally luxurious.
Would I repurchase: Yeah! I think I would. Despite the price tag, it’s hard to find bubble bath as it is, much less better-for-you suds. I hate the idea of soaking in bubbles that are full of harsh chemicals and irritants. For that reason alone, I think I’ll be repurchasing this product or testing others like it. I’m also interested in trying Everyday Shea’s lotions and other products. The short ingredient lists really get me!
Better Beauty Rating (Worse, Okay, Good, Better, Best): I can confidently give this a Better ranking. The only thing that stops it from being a Best product? The average to below average scent. Otherwise, I’d say it does what it says it’s going to do and performs admirably!
Better Skin Care: 100% Pure Purity Hydrating Tonique Acne Care
After realizing that I had approximately TWO products that met my new, pretty strict beauty criteria, I pretty much immediately decided it was time to pick up a few things to start reviewing. Online searches quickly led me to 100% Pure Cosmetics, which has a bevy of makeup, skin care, and bath/body items that totally align with my better beauty standards.
Imagine my shock when I was strolling in Berkeley and actually came across one of their three retail stores! I had no idea they were based in California, much less a short drive away from me. Cue me being super excited and dragging my mom (who was visiting at the time) and friend into the store. I definitely had to try a couple things, and the first thing I selected was the Purity Hydrating Tonique. I know, “tonique.” But whatever, I rolled with it.
I’ve never really been a big toner person, but since I don’t own any already, it didn’t seem like such a frivolous purchase. I’m trying to use up my conventional beauty products as best I can before adding too many new ones.
I’ve been using this toner for a few, so I feel like I can give you a well-rounded review.
What it looks like:
Check out the beautiful cardboard packaging it comes in! It felt luxurious just opening the product.
Inside the cardboard tube is a heavy opaque glass bottle that also feels pretty luxurious and expensive. I definitely give the packaging high marks.
What it says it does: “Purity Tonique is formulated specifically to give you a clear complexion and to protect against future breakouts. This purifying facial toner delivers hydration to skin cells while fighting against blemishes. Hyaluronic acid delivers organic lavender hydrosol and organic aloe to thirsty skin cells…”
What’s in it: Organic Lavandula Angustifolia Aqua (Lavender Hydrosol)1, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Juice) Leaf2, Extracts of Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower, Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem and Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle), Hyaluronic Acid
What it smells/feels like: It definitely has an herbal-y scent, and I think the lavender and tea tree it contains is probably partially to blame for that. Lavender isn’t one of my favorite scents, so I’m not in love with the smell. But I don’t hate it, either. Let’s say I’m neutral, but if you hate herbal scents, this might not be for you. It feels like a cool mist and does absorb into the skin fairly quickly with no damp or sticky residue.
What it actually does: This stuff definitely feels good to spray on my face. It’s refreshing and I suppose does feel a bit hydrating (which I don’t really need — my skin is fairly oily). But I’m not in the market for just a “feel-good” product. So does it actually help reduce/prevent acne?
I’m going to tentatively say yes. I think this stuff calms my skin down. If it’s red or blotchy from me poking at my pimples (a total no-no that I indulge in far too often), spraying some tonique does seem to soothe it. I’ve also used it as a priming spray before makeup and I would maybe say it helped minimize oil but I think I’d have to try it a few more times to be sure.
I’ve also noticed less pimples in general, but when my hormones started to change around my period, it seemed to be powerless to fight them.
Would I repurchase: Eh, probably not. It’s a nice product that feels good on the skin and maybe fights the good fight against my pimples a bit. It also makes me feel like I’m at a spa, which I’ll admit is plus. But I don’t think I’d shell out $21 for it again. My experience with this product hasn’t turned me off from 100% Pure skincare products whatsoever, though. I think they’re made of high-quality ingredients, and I bet there are some real gems among the bunch of otherwise solid products.
Better Beauty Rating (Worse, Okay, Good, Better, Best): I’m going to give this a solid Good. It gets higher marks for packaging and feel on my skin, but it’s not like I woke up in the morning after using it with perfectly clear skin (not that I expected to). I think it’s worth a try if you want a fancy product to calm your skin and make your bathroom feel like a spa.
Okay! So this has been my first Better Beauty review. What do you guys think? Did I skip anything you want to know? Want to see more of these?
Let’s call this Day One of my Journey to Better Beauty, as I’m calling it. Diving right in!
First, let’s get one thing straight: chemical-free beauty isn’t possible. Beauty products are, by definition, made up of chemicals. I mean, water is technically a chemical. The trick is just figuring out which chemicals don’t need to ever be rubbed into your face/eyes/skin/etc. So the first step toward cleaning up my beauty regimen is figuring out exactly which beauty ingredients are kinda shady.
Little did I know (well, that’s not entirely true — I totally did know) how hard it would be to define those ingredients. While there are some ingredients that everyone pretty much agrees should be totally avoided (aluminum and parabens always make the list, for example), there are ingredients that appear on some “AVOID” and “Dirty Dozen” lists, but not on others.
I tried to sift through the complete and utter information overload and pick the ingredients that I’ll personally be trying to eliminate. This list might change over time, but it’s my starting point. Your personal list might look different, and that’s TOTALLY okay. I also don’t want to go into the science behind each why I’m avoiding each ingredient because I am most certainly not qualified to do that, and other sources can tell you much more than I can. I recommend starting with this article. It’s super comprehensive and service-y. Basically, all the ingredients I’m avoiding are carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, reproductive toxins, or some combination thereof.
Okay, let’s not start freaking out yet. Your lipstick isn’t straight up giving you cancer. But for someone like me, who uses a ton of products and uses them often, it makes sense to eliminate unsafe ingredients as thoroughly as possible. I fully understand this will take some time, and I’m not about to throw out all my products and spend a ton of money on new ones all at once. I’m just vowing to be much more mindful of my product choices going forward.
So to make things easier, I put together a little graphic to use as a cheat sheet! I’m pretty sure I’ll need to refer to it every time I make a beauty purchase from now on since some of the ingredient names aren’t exactly easy to remember. So here it is… the Filthy Fifteen, the baddies of the beauty world (from what I can tell).
Alright, so we have a starting point! We have a Day One! We have a long road in front of us, but at least now, we have a map. My task over the next couple days will be going through all my beauty products and trying to figure out which ones meet my new criteria. I have a feeling it… won’t be very many (if any).
Oh, and this video pretty much seems to be a requisite for understanding the history of the beauty industry and how it came to be as sketchy as it is today.
And here are a couple more resources when it comes to researching safer beauty:
Someone I know who lives out here in the Bay once joked that he wanted to start a company called Pivot and whenever anyone asked what they did, he’d say “I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
I figured now that I’m in the land of startups, what better word to use to describe what I’m about to do with my blog?
I’m about to get all share-y, so sit tight.
I miss blogging, and I miss being a blogger. But I don’t know if continuing to write about health, fitness, and nutrition is really something that interests me. I guess part of it is that I feel like I’ve said all I can say on the subject. I know that’s not literally true, but I feel like everything I could say now would be a regurgitation of things I’ve already said, just said in a different way. Kind of like every women’s magazine ever written. Different headline, same story.
But like I said, I miss blogging. I feel like at my core, I’m a blogger. It’s just what I do.
When I first launched this blog as Your Nutritionista back in 2008, I started it because I had an epiphany while I was driving to my office one day. The name literally came to me in a flash of inspiration and as soon as I got back to my office (funnily enough, I had a tumblr called officed at the time), I immediately created Your Nutritionista. Content came naturally to me because I was excited and passionate about the subject of food and nutrition — a straight-talking kind of nutrition, for real people. Or at least, that’s the way I saw it.
I was taking a shower not more than 15 minutes ago when I had a very similar epiphany, so striking that I had to sit down and write this post RIGHTTHISMINUTE even though it’s almost 11pm here, which is decisively past my bedtime.
A little back story: Over the past few months, I’ve started a full-blown relationship with beauty products of all kinds (hair care, makeup, etc.). I’ve ditched my healthy living blogs for beauty blogs, and I’ve ditched former mecca Trader Joe’s for Sephora and Ulta (okay, let’s keep it real, I still love TJs, but you get the point). But, over the past week or two, I’ve started to take a serious look at my beauty products. Just like the revelation I had about my diet many years ago, I realized all my beauty stuff was filled with weird chemicals we have no idea about.
And I realized it was time to clean up my beauty products, just like I cleaned up my diet. The problem was, when I tried to find a resource for effective, chemical-free beauty, I couldn’t find much. At least, compared to how much info is out there about conventional beauty products. So what I’d like to do is invite you guys to join me on a journey to clean up my beauty products. “Journey” sounds cheesy, but I think that’s what it will be.
What I’m thinking is that I’ll try new stuff (including DIY stuff like this), write reviews, and post general thoughts about things like my struggle to find an effective natural deodorant (the struggle is REAL, you guys, the struggle is SO REAL). I’m new to the chemical-free beauty game, and I’m no beauty guru, but I AM a girl who hears birds sing when she walks into an Ulta. So I think I can do this for you guys. And for me. Because what’s the point of avoiding food with extra junk when you’re just slathering that same junk all over your face?!
I promise not to get too weird with it either. Tell me if I am, okay? And I’ll try to do this blog in a way that doesn’t come off as preachy, because like I said, I’m new to this. I’m literally starting from square one when it comes to chemical-free beauty. If you have ideas for me, I’m all ears (email me!). I’d love to know what you’d love to know.
And finally, THANK YOU for coming along with me for the ride. Even if you decide my new subject matter isn’t for you, that’s okay. I appreciate every single one of you.
I know this was a stupidly long post and I apologize. The next one will be shorter.
My tale of three weddings begins in February 2013.
Who: Leah and Adrian
What: Legal ceremony
Where: Courthouse in the city where Adrian lived
When: February 14, 2013
Officiant: The mayor of the city
Guests: Leah’s parents, Adrian’s parents via Skype
Reception: My parents took us to dinner at Beans & Cornbread after the ceremony.
Wedding-y Details: The dress was a simple short dress from White House Black Market. I got a turquoise sweater from Target the same day. The colors turquoise/teal and tangerine/orange carried throughout all three weddings. Adrian wore whatever suit he had that wasn’t already packed. I also wore the same turquoise earrings from KTCollection and shoes from Sofft for all three weddings.
Why: Adrian was setting off for a startup accelerator program in San Francisco on February 15th. We wanted to tie the knot before he left (mostly for insurance purposes, but also so that we’d actually be legally married before our second wedding). Valentine’s Day seemed like a cheesy choice for our legal wedding, but all in all, a fitting one.
Memories: Getting ready in the bathroom at my office with a coworker/friend snapping pics. Smiling a lot. Everything feeling surreal. My mom crying a lot. Me not crying as much as I thought I would.
I highly recommend courthouse weddings, by the way. They’re simple and really romantic in a lot of ways.
It’s me, Your Healthista. Deadbeat blogger. Also known as Leah.
I’m coming off of a five month hiatus. I’ve never gone that long without blogging! But it was for a good reason, I promise. I got married (twice — no, three times — to the same dude) and moved across the country. I’m living in a new city and have to deal with lots of health… challenges, shall we say.
If anyone is still out there, tell me: Want to hear about it?
The Top 7 Myths about Crossfit and Why They're Totally FALSE
I understand that Crossfit isn’t for everyone. I GET IT. But don’t let the myths about Crossfit give you an excuse not to try it, okay? If you’re even a little bit interested, I would highly recommend trying it at least 4-5 times (once isn’t really enough to get a good feel for it). It’s literally changed my life.
Myth #1: Crossfit is only for super-fit people.
Entirely untrue. One of the best and most amazing things about Crossfit is that it’s scalable to any level. I think people hear that and don’t believe it, but it’s true. We have people of all ages, shapes, and abilities at my box, and the most wonderful thing is that everyone cheers everyone else on. I’m genuinely happy when my friends get PRs or push themselves to new heights. Warm and fuzzy feelings abound in Crossfit!
So obviously, Camille is super-fit. But you don’t have to be to get a LOT out of Crossfit!
Myth #2: Crossfit is expensive.
Crossfit is only expensive if you compare it to regular gyms. It’s CHEAP when you compare it to the cost of personal training, which to me, is a more apt comparison. I paid around $700 for three months of personal training at one 60-minute session per week. Crossfit costs anywhere between $150-300/month, depending on where you live, but you can go as many times as you want. Since each session is like a group personal training session, it actually costs about half as much as you’d get charged at a standard gym!
Myth #3: Crossfit is a cult.
GAHHHHH, I’m so sick of hearing this. Crossfit is a cult as much as any group of people interested in the same thing is a cult! We all like talking about Crossfit when we’re together because we all DO Crossfit. If you got together with a bunch of coworkers outside of work, isn’t it likely that you’d spend at least part of the time inadvertently talking about work? Same concept. It’s what we all have in common, so it’s easy to talk about!
I told you guys that I’m doing a January Whole30 with my dad, my sister, and a few people from my Crossfit box. Well, we all got smart and decided to throw a Whole30 potluck. Let me tell you — that was ageniusidea, for a few reasons:
It reminded me of all the delicious Whole30 food out there, because sometimes, it’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut.
It’s a fun, food-related event we could all participate in without feeling at all guilty or pressured to compromise our goals.
It was an opportunity to trade Whole30 tips, tricks, raves, and woes.
I tried to make Paleo banana bread from this recipe (yes, totally SWYPO, but we all agreed that SWYPO was okay for this potluck!). Unfortunately, as I tried to flip it out of the pan as instructed, it completely broke in half. Though my kind friends tried to persuade me to bring it anyway, I just couldn’t serve a crumbled mess of a dish. So I made fruit salad instead.
Everyone else had better luck. Check out my plate!
There was eggplant parmesan without the parmesan (breaded in almond meal), veggies and guac, egg muffins, roasted veggies, delicious salad, a unique potato and venison dish with egg that would make a really yummy breakfast, and of course, my boring fruit salad.
We also had a drink that will go down as my favorite Whole30-compliant drink EVER:
It’s Peach-Pear LaCroix (apparently a new-to-2012 flavor!) with lime and pomegranate seeds. AWESOME and so festive!
There was plenty of good company too…
My Crossfit coach Jarrod is on the left and bad-ass Crossfitter Jen is on the right. She’s a quiet beast! If you live in the Detroit area, please don’t sleep on Crossfit Benchmark Workouts. It’s the best box around!
More CF friends: Terri and Becks.
So if you’re on a healthy eating/living mission in 2013, please don’t be afraid to get your friends involved. Having a healthy potluck is probably one of the best ways to share recipes, ideas, and dang good food.
I think one of the most difficult things about being on Whole30 is participating in the celebrations of loved ones. Saying no to non-Whole30 foods is just half the battle. The other half of the battle is trying to explain why you can’t partake in birthday cake, drinks, etc.
Since I’m now on my third Whole30, I feel like I have a little bit of experience with this. Just last night, I celebrated my man’s birthday without indulging in anything non-Whole30. Of course, it’s easy with him since he knows what I’m doing and gets why it’s important to me. It’s trickier if you’re around people who aren’t as close or don’t really understand why you eat the way you do.
Here are the things I’ve learned about celebrating others healthfully along the way:
It’s okay — I mean really OKAY —to say no to food. We’ve all been in situations where we feel really guilty about turning down food, mostly because of who’s offering it to us. But you really CAN say no to food and not offer any explanation!
Sometimes no explanation is better than the truth. People have a harder time arguing with no explanation than trying to explain that your eating plan doesn’t allow a certain food. “No, thanks,” is absolutely acceptable in almost all situations!
You can still participate in your own way. Whether that means bringing your own special food, deciding to celebrate without food in a special way, or promising you’ll treat yourself after the event, make sure you do something special or different. Otherwise, you’ll feel deprived all around.
Your loved ones will never remember what you did or didn’t eat. I promise you, they’re not the food police. Even if it becomes a little awkward to say no to food you’re offered, no one will remember who ate in no time at all. It’s not worth caving just to avoid a slightly awkward situation because it won’t matter at all soon enough.
You can celebrate without food. I promise, you can! For my birthday this past year, I hosted a big Zumba class. Tons of fun, no food involved.
What other tips do you have for celebrating others healthfully?
Wedding Dress Shopping: Health for a Wedding vs. a Marriage
As I mentioned in this post, I’m getting married in the spring at two separate ceremonies (one in Mexico over Memorial Day weekend and one in my hometown three weeks later).
You can ask any of my friends to verify this, but I’ve never been a wedding person. I’ve never fantasized about my own wedding, never gotten addicted to any of the seemingly omnipresent wedding shows on TLC, never read wedding blogs, and to be honest, never really saw myself having a wedding in the conventional sense. I always said, “If my husband-to-be wants to have a wedding, we can have one. But I don’t need one.”
Well, guess what? My husband-to-be wants a wedding. Don’t get me wrong: he would be completely fine eloping or just taking our families to a nice dinner after a courthouse ceremony, but he’d definitely rather have a wedding. Okay, cool. I can do that.
Once I dipped a toe into the wild, wild world of weddings, I realized I didn’t know anything about them. Not having been a “wedding person” growing up was actually kind of a disadvantage. Suddenly not only did I need to find a venue, a caterer, a florist, etc., etc., etc., but I also had to find THE dress — and look the best I’ve ever looked in it. Talk about pressure, right?
This is, hands down, my new favorite recipe. I’ve already made it three times and I’m not sick of it. That’s saying a lot because usually I have a hard time eating something more than two or three times in a row.
It’s an easy recipe, but one ingredient you really can’t skimp on is this one:
Sesame oil makes this recipe, so please don’t try to make it without some!
You’ll need (makes 4-6 servings):
2 boxes chicken broth (organic, free range is best if you can swing it)
4-5 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
5-6 heads baby bok choy
1 cup green onion, diced
1-2 lbs ground pork
2-3 Tbsp coconut aminos (or substitute with soy sauce)
4-5 eggs, whisked together
crushed red pepper to taste
salt to taste
Begin by sauteing the ground pork in 1-2 Tbsp sesame oil in a large soup pot. When the pork is around 75-80% cooked, add the broth, coconut aminos, and crushed red pepper. The pork should look kinda like this before you add the additional ingredients:
Bring everything to a boil, then add the bok choy and green onion. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat source. Wait until the soup has cooled just a bit (1-2 minutes). Then, add the eggs by stirring the pot consistently while you slowly pour in the egg mixture. Turn the heat back on to low/simmer, and cook for another 5-10 minutes to help marry all the flavors. Add salt if necessary.
Garnish with more green onion if desired.
It doesn’t look like much, but it is completely and utterly delicious.
For vegetarians: use diced tofu instead of pork and add rice noddles if desired. You could also add pre-made veggie wontons.
I feel like I can hear all the new year’s resolutions being made (or already broken) as I type this, both in the blog world and in real life. But here I sit, on the second day of 2013, without having made a single resolution, goal, or intention for the year. While I usually love the opportunity for a fresh start — and am definitely in favor of setting SMART goals — I think I’m going to take it one month at a time this year.
After I stepped away from the blog earlier this month, I pretty much immediately stepped into a haze of holiday goodies, abandoning all of my Here and Now principles. I only made it to Crossfit a couple times. Of course, I paid the price. I spent the holidays feeling sluggish, bloated, and not myself. I’m glad I took the pressure off — I certainly didn’t miss out on any time with family or friends because I just had to get to Crossfit — but I’m not too happy with my holiday health performance. I didn’t practice what I preach, which is disappointing.
But my policy is not to dwell, just move forward the best I can. So I’m taking it one month at a time. January will be devoted to my third Whole30. The Whole9 crew is hosting a HUGE Whole30, so it seems like a great time to jump on board. Lots of other bloggers are joining in, but my main motivation is supporting my sister, who’s trying Whole30 for the first time. My dad is also taking part in his second one. A few Crossfitters from my box are also Whole30-ing this month. It’s always better to do the Whole30 with partners!
When I eat Whole30, I truly feel like my body thanks me. And honestly, sometimes it’s a relief to not have to think about if I should indulge in this or that. The decisions are made for me, and that’s what I need right now. To read about my last Whole30, check out these posts. I also sketched out a month of Whole30 eats (complete with recipes and grocery lists) that I might just post.
We’ll see what February brings, but for now, January will be all about Whole30 and getting back to Crossfit. I’m sure I lost a lot of strength, endurance, and flexibility, which is sad, but I’ll get it back!
The other good reason I need to focus on one month at a time is that otherwise, this year would be totally overwhelming. With planning two weddings, a possible cross-country move, and almost inevitable time away from my boo, I just need to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
I did, however, have a wonderful new year — which I rang in with my two besties (and my man, not pictured).
I hope all of you rung in 2013 in a happy, happy way — and that you’ll follow me on my month-to-month journey. I’m going to try to be as honest as I can about the next few months as I try to get back to a place where I feel comfortable with my choices. You can still expect the normal recipes, workouts, and general fitness advice, but I’m hoping I can be more candid about what I’m doing, and what I’m struggling with.
In the spirit of rest, rejuvenation, and yes, health, I’m officially signing off for the rest of 2012.
At the time of year when things might normally be winding down, my life seems to be picking up.
Work has been ramping up thanks to some new and exciting programs — definitely relevant to the Healthista crowd, so I’ll be sure to share next year after we launch!
Your Healthista Consulting has also been revving up, since a lot of people have goals for the new year they need help accomplishing.
And remember this guy? (Also mentioned in this post, this post, and this post.) After almost six years of love, we’re now engaged! This is a fairly recent development, but I can already tell it will make the next six months of my life a lot more interesting (we’re planning on a spring 2013 wedding. Two, actually. But more on that another time!).
Though I haven’t been sharing a lot of personal details on the blog lately, I wanted to fill you all in on why I’m giving myself the next couple weeks to focus on work, family, and my fiance. In fact, my only free time last weekend was spent decorating the mini tree pictured above at my man’s house.
But, dear readers, I promise I’m not leaving you for good. I’m just getting reenergized to create lots of awesome content in 2013. I have some things cooking (pun 100% intended).
So please, in the next few weeks, have the happiest of happies, whatever those happies are. And if I can share one wish I have for you this holiday season, it’s this: soak up all the love around you, however you can, as much as you can. I think that’s the healthiest thing to do, don’t you agree?
To help her stay motivated, she says: “I kept the pants on the hanger and saw them every morning when I woke up and every time I went to bed. I knew I couldn’t let myself down as I had many times in the past.”
Those are some crazy results! Here’s how she did it: “I worked out 6 days a week, for an hour most days. I would do 10-20 minutes of circuit training and yoga or barre style workouts for the rest. There were definitely more treats in my diet than you recommended, but I consider myself an intuitive eater, so I only ate when hungry and didn’t overindulge too much.”
Awesome work! Catrina says, “To fit my pants, I ate healthier foods and cut out all drinks except for water. I’ve been running four times a weeks since I started my fitness journey.”
Stacey was really excited to lose inches, though she says her pants are still a bit snug:
Stacey says, “How did I do it? Portion control and increased exercise. Portion control was the easy part. Along with the discipline to say ‘no thank you’ when offered sweets or carbs at work. Now that is dedication! As for exercise I kept track of my weekly minutes. To challenge myself by doing more but also not overdoing it either. Did I mention that I work in retail??? I am so proud that I was able to even loose anything during the hardest month out of the year. Let alone Black Friday!!! To be totally honest I wasn’t expecting to loose anything.”
Congrats and thanks to all on your fantastic work! It’s not the easiest time to decide to make healthier choices, so your progress is extra impressive. The randomly selected winner of the $100 gift card is…
Laura M.! Email me to claim your prize.
Thanks again to everyone who participated! Be proud of yourselves, fo reals.
If you completed the challenge and now fit yo pants, first of all, CONGRATS! Amazing job, you. Way to dedicate yourself and meet your goal!
Second of all, if you want to be entered to win the $100 Amazon gift card, you’ll need to send me an “after” pic with you fitting yo pants by Wednesday, 12/5 at midnight EST. In your email, please also include:
If you’re okay with your pic going on the blog and if so,
a few sentences about how you were able to fit yo pants and…
a link to your blog, if you’d like!
I’ll randomly select a winner out of those who SEND ME AN EMAIL on Thursday, 12/6. Congrats again to all who participated!
A Post-Thanksgiving Workout to Help You Fit Yo Pants
So! Did we all survive Thanksgiving? Is it even worth repeating all the post-Thanksgiving cliches? (“I survived… Plus a couple pounds!” “Ugh, I ate more pumpkin pie than I should have,” “I must have gained 10 POUNDS this week!”).
Alright, alright. Let’s skip the Thanksgiving weight cliches and skip right to the part where we all get back on track — eating lots of whole foods, minimizing the sugar/processed carbs, and focusing on getting plenty of protein and healthy fat. Deal? Deal.
With just a week left of the Fit Yo Pants Challenge, I admit I’ve done a pretty bad job of providing inspirational workouts and recipes for you guys. I hope you’ve been focusing on fitting yo pants for the past month or so! Just a week or so left until I’ll be asking for your after pics.
To help you out this last week, here’s a toughie-but-goodie workout that will make you forget all about those silly Thanksgiving weight gain cliches. Oh, and it snowed for the first time here! Which means it’s too cold for me to work out outside. Luckily, you can do this one in the comfort of your own warm living room(but do enjoy the pretty winter-inspired background of the workout!).
Win an Hour of Free Fitness Consultations & Workout Plan from Fit Missy!
In the hopes of helping you Fit Yo Pants (hope everyone is doing well with that!), I bring you an AWESOME giveaway, care of our friends at Fit Missy!
When my girl Vesna emailed me about a new workout program she developed called Fit Missy, I was pretty excited. She’s been creating workouts and sharing them with Your Healthista readers for several years now under the Trainerpack name, and she really knows her stuff.
Vesna describes Fit Missy as a p90x-style program designed just for women. Here’s what you get with the Fit Missy program:
Workouts designed to streamline your body, make you strong, and give you endurance all without any bulk.
Focus on losing inches, fat burn, and muscle tone using light weights, high reps, and moving fast between exercises.
A mix of compound exercises and cardio in order to optimize your workouts and burn the most calories per workout.
Workouts that feel personal training session.
A detailed daily breakdown of which workout to do when from week 1 to week 9.
A total of 37 workouts done over 9 weeks.
Full email support during the 9 weeks.
A full nutrition guide.
Fit Missy is partnering with Your Healthista for a pretty amazing giveaway. Here’s the scoop:
Comment on this post letting me know you did by midnight EST on Friday, Nov. 16th.
That’s it! You’ll be entered for a chance to win an hour-long Skype or phone fitness consult with Vesna, the creator of Fit Missy, AND a customized workout plan! The winner will be announced on Saturday, Nov. 17th.
I’m coming to you with a rich, hearty soup that will fill you up as it helps you fit yo pants!It’s full of green veggies, satisfying pork, and warming broth. Yeah, yeah, there’s no actual ham in it, but I couldn’t resist the title!
You’ll need (makes 6-8 servings):
2 boxes chicken broth or stock (or you can use 1.5 boxes + water to make up the rest of the liquid)
1 bunch kale*, torn into bite-sized pieces
1-2 large leeks*, washed thoroughly and chopped
1-2 lbs green beans*, cut into thirds or fourths
1 lb ground pork
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp olive oil
*You can sub in ANY green veggie if you don’t have these on hand! Broccoli, spinach, zucchini — whatever you got.
Add the olive oil to a large sauce pan. Start sauteing the leaks over medium heat, then add the green beans.
As your veggies cook, roll your pork into bite-sized meatballs and then add to the pot.
Cook everything together for 5-10 minutes, being careful not to smush the meatballs.
Add the chicken broth and kale, then bring to a simmer.
Simmer soup until the kale softens and the meatballs are cooked through.
Season with LOTS of salt, pepper, crushed red pepper (for spice), and any other spice that strikes your fancy!
The Fit Yo Pants Workout You Can Do with a Friend!
Last week, I asked you to commit to moving your body for 20-45 minutes, four times a week. I don’t care what you do, you just have to move! But if you need some inspiration for that movement, I’m here for you. This is a workout you can do with a friend, so you should have some extra motivation/encouragement! You also won’t need any extra equipment for this workout, so you have no excuse not to try it out.
The Fit Yo Pants Friend Workout
Here’s how it works: You’ll do each of the below movements for a total of five minutes (set a timer on your phone or use a stopwatch). You can break up the five minutes however you want with your friend. You can switch off every minute or every certain number of reps (10 or 20). See what works best! Just make sure you’re working for about the same amount of time as each other. Make sure to cheer each other on and don’t let each other give up! When you’re done, you’ll have worked out for about 20 minutes each, but I bet it won’t feel like that long.
5 minutes of mountain climbers
5 minutes of pushups
5 minutes of squats
5 minutes of burpees
5 minutes of situps
5 minutes of lunges (make sure to work evenly on both sides)
5 minutes of running quickly (not quite a sprint). If you don’t have somewhere to run, do jumping jacks instead.
My man likes to say that “pesto is fancy-people ranch,” and I think he’s right. Pesto is one of those condiments, like ranch, that tastes good on just about anything. And it makes most things taste a whole lot better.
Since I’m kinda enjoying the dairy free life right now (thanks to the Whole30), I wanted to create a dairy-free pesto that tasted just as amazing as the original version. The secret ingredient? Lemon juice (not pictured!), which adds the same tang that parmesan cheese does in standard recipes. I also bulked up this recipe with fresh baby spinach — basically for volume.
You’ll need (makes 6-8 servings):
about 4 cups fresh basil
about 2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup olive oil. I used a garlic version from Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have garlic olive oil, add a clove or two of garlic to the mix.
juice from one lemon
3/4 cup pine nuts (toasted if you like — mine weren’t)
lots of salt and pepper
In your food processor, blend the greens down.
Add pine nuts and blend those.
Drizzle olive oil through the spout as you continue to blend.
Add lots of salt and pepper to taste.
You can eat this stuff on literally ANYTHING. I first tried it on spaghetti squash, but I think it would be amazing on any meat (chicken or steak, especially) and veggies. All the flavor, none of the bad stuff. A total Fit Yo Pants-worthy condiment!
I know that when most of you see the word “pumpkin” in a recipe title, you roll your eyes. I get it. Trust me, I do. But sometimes that ubiquitous squash just makes a recipe really special. This is one of those times. And really, we only get to abuse pumpkin for a couple months out of the year, so let’s make the most of it!
The addition of pumpkin in what is otherwise a fairly standard chili recipe adds a warmth and depth of flavor most chilis just can’t accomplish. I also think it makes it a bit more hearty.
You’ll need (makes 4-6 servings):
1 lb ground beef (I used grass-fed 85/15). If you want to keep it vegetarian, you could use beans instead — kidney or black would work best. You could also use beans in addition to the ground beef.
1 15-oz can pumpkin
42 oz diced tomato (fire-roasted works well). I used a 28-oz. can and a 14-oz. can.
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 large green pepper (or 2 small guys), chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp crushed red pepper (if you like spice)
1-2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the beef, onions, and peppers in olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot until the beef loses most of its pink. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add tomatoes, pumpkin, and all spices.
Simmer for as long as you can, but at least 20 minutes.
All your pics have been submitted. You’re ready to fit yo pants. Now, the only question remaining is HOW?
The first thing I need you to do — the first step to fitting yo pants, if you will — is to recognize that whatever you’re doing right now needs to change. You don’t fit yo pants right now, and you clearly want to, so you need to do something different.
I’m not going to be able to tell you exactly what that different thing is, because I don’t know your story or your lifestyle, but I do know that a shift needs to happen. If you’re the kind of person who needs to be told exactly what to do, it might be worth considering getting a Your Healthista Consulting personalized plan. But for the next 5.5 weeks, something’s gotta change.
For those of you that are ready to commit to changing things a bit RIGHT NOW so you can fit yo pants (and feel awesome in the process), here are a few second (and third, and forth) steps to take.
Commit to getting rid of processed foods, except when they’re treats (see below). I’m putting this one first because it’s the toughest. Even if you think you eat pretty well, take a really close look at your diet and figure out where processed crap is creeping in. Low-fat yogurt? Flavored oatmeal? Sweetened peanut butter? Packaged chips/bread/cereal/etc.? The more ingredients, the more likely it is that food is a processed no-no. These types of foods (and I don’t care how “low fat” or “low cal” they are) will NOT help you fit yo pants, and they really have no place in your diet except as a once-in-a-while treat. So you need to get those out of your life right now, except when they’re a designated treat. Speaking of treats…
Commit to only having treats when they’re truly worth it (or no more than 1-3x/week). What’s a treat? To me, a treat is anything with more white carbs/sugar than any other macronutrient (protein or good fat). We know that our bodies have no use for white carbs/sugar, but we also know that they’re delicious. And unless you have an issue with overeating carbs (there are plenty of us who do), they don’t need to be eliminated completely. But you need to make sure that every sugary or carby thing you eat is WORTH IT. To decide if a treat is worth it, check out my post on the Here and Now Concept. Another good way to determine if something’s worth it or not is to use this handy flow chart.
Just so we’re all clear, here are some examples of treats: bread, pasta, most cereals, candy, any dessert, alcohol, store-bought juice… you get the point. Even “whole wheat” or “whole grain” breads and pastas should count as a treat even though they’re not white. The small amount of additional fiber and protein they have doesn’t cancel out the fact that the main nutrient they provide is carbs. You can get plenty of carbs from all the fruits and veggies you’re eating!
Commit to finding a way to move your body for at least 20-45 minutes four times a week. At this point in the game, I don’t care what you do to get some physical activity in. It could even be walking. Just commit to getting it done four times a week for 20 minutes, minimum. As we progress through this challenge, I’ll be posting workouts and other fitness tips, but I need you to commit right now to making this time available for physical activity.
Commit to spending 2-3 hours/week cooking. No matter how you slice it (pun 100% intended), fitting yo pants will probably require some time in the kitchen on your part. You need to find this time NOW. Look at your schedule for the week and decide when you can spend a couple hours prepping food in the kitchen. You might be hard boiling eggs, baking sweet potatoes, roasting veggies, making frittata — whatever you need on hand for the week. Again, I’ll be posting lots of yummy recipes throughout the challenge, but you need to commit the time to make them!
Commit to making room in your life for change. Like I said at the beginning of this post, you need to be open to changing some of your lifestyle habits if you want to fit yo pants. You need to make mental room for these changes right now. I know it won’t always be easy, but it will always, always be worth it.
If you can commit to those things right now, I promise you, the next five or so weeks won’t be hard. Starting today, get rid of all the excess treats in your life. Make time for exercise 20-45 minutes four times a week (schedule it in now!). Make a mental commitment to focus for the next five weeks to see what you’re capable of. If you do all that, I promise I’ll post an awesome recipe for you tomorrow (okay, I’m gonna post it anyway, but I’ll feel better doing it if you commit!).
You have until midnight tonight (EST) to send me a pic of you in your just-a-tad-too-small pants. Don’t worry, I won’t publish your pic (though if you win, I might ask your permission to anonymously post your before and after!) If you fit yo pants by Dec. 1, you’re entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card! All the deets/rules here.
All you have to do to start the challenge is send me a pic. I’ve got the rest covered, and a plan to help you fit to pants is coming on Monday!
You have until tomorrow at midnight to pick yo pants for Fit Yo Pants! Remember, pick a pair that’s a smidge (the uber-scientific term for “around one size”) too small. If your pants look like this, they’re not right for this challenge.
All you have to do is send me a pic of you in yo pants (hide your face if you want!) by midnight EST tomorrow to be entered in the challenge. Thanks to those of you that already sent your pic! If you fit yo pants by Dec. 1, you’ll be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card! All the deets, rules, etc., are here.
And once again, here’s why we’re doing this:
Not fitting yo pants is a sucky feeling.
Have to buy new pants can also suck ($$!).
Non-scale goals are best.
Setting a realistic, time-sensitive goal and then making a plan to get there (don’t worry, I got you covered!) is one really easy way to feel good about yourself. Fitting yo pants is just one reward for completing this challenge. Feeling good about meeting your goal is the real reward (corny but true).
I promise to help you fit yo pants if you follow my advice and put in some effort!
Starting next week, I’ll be posting stuff to help you fit yo pants, but it will be up to you to make it happen!
We all have that one pair of pants that used to fit us, but are now just a little too tight to squeeze into. Or maybe they zip, but they just don’t fit like they used to (muffin top?). I know I have a couple pairs like that. Before you retire them for good (and shell out your hard-earned cash for new ones), we’re going to give one last, concerted effort to fit into them with the Fit Yo Pants Challenge!
Here’s my promise: If you give me some energy and focus and put in WORK, we’ll have you fitting into yo pants by December 1 (just in time for the holidays).
You in? Here’s how it works*:
Pick a pair of goal pants by Friday, October 19.
Email me a picture of you in them, as far as you can get them on (your face can absolutely be obscured) by October 19 at midnight EST.
Make a definitive decision that you WILL fit yo pants by December 1, but stay away from them until then! They don’t fit right now, yo.
Stay tuned to the blog for tips, recipes, and advice throughout the rest of October and November.
On December 1, you’ll try the same pants on again. If they fit, send me another email of you in yo (now fitting) pants.
All the successful Fit Yo Pantsers will be entered to be randomly selected to win a $100 Amazon gift card (furnished by yours truly). But you’re only entered to win if you FIT YO PANTS, so you have to take the next month and a half seriously!
Some tips for the Fit Yo Pants Challenge:
For your challenge pants, pick a pair that ALMOST fit, but maybe don’t quite zip, or don’t really sit right, or give you a lil muffin top.
Don’t pick a pair that are clearly more than one size too small. It’s completely unrealistic to drop more than a pants size or two in 6 weeks.
If you own pants that are more than one or two sizes too small, please consider donating them!
Take this challenge seriously! For the next six weeks, you’re going to be focused on fitting yo pants. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some treats here or there, but we’re going to have a serious talk about getting rid of treats that aren’t special or aren’t making you feel good (more on that to come).
In addition to being entered to win $100 for fitting yo pants, you’ll also be saving the money you’d spend on new pants… so keep that in mind!
So, are you in?! I think this challenge will be an awesome way to spend the next month and a half, so I hope you’re excited! I’m going to be posting Fit Yo Pants tips, recipes, and advice at least a few times a week, so keep checking back here. Get ready to FIT YO PANTS, people!
A note about why we’re doing this (for those of you that have some concerns that it sounds a little too close to a women’s magazine’s “Fit into Your Skinny Jeans Today!” type of headlines):I hate using scales to gauge health/fitness/weight. They just suck and are often completely inaccurate. But I do like having health goals, and I do like challenging myself to get back on track when I’ve been a little off. This challenge is one way to help us use something other than the scale to track progress. Plus, I really like being able to fit into my clothes (just sayin’). I don’t want this challenge to be just about aesthetics. It’s about setting a goal for yourself and reaching it (and feeling dang good about it).
*The fine print: Must be 18 or older to enter. Only valid to U.S. participants. Prize value $100. This giveaway isn’t associated or sponsored by Tumblr. When you submit your photos, you’re releasing them to me, not Tumblr.
You guys. This recipe. I can’t even describe to you how amazing and delicious it is. You seriously won’t miss the noodles at all. I actually liked this dish better than traditional Pad Thai (which I often find sorta bland and boring). Because I’ve never made Pad Thai before, I used afewrecipes for inspiration and ended up adapting/combining them to create an entirely new recipe.
In my mind, the key to this recipe is the delicious Red Boat Fish Sauce I special ordered. If you don’t have the patience/budget/etc. for that, feel free to use any fish sauce you can find. Just try to find one without weird ingredients or added sweeteners if possible. Red Boat has only two ingredients: wild anchovies and salt.
You’ll need (serves 4-6):
1 lb frozen or fresh uncooked wild-caught shrimp
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 cup creamy almond butter
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp coconut aminos (I would have used this, but it was another special order and didn’t arrive in time! You can use regular soy sauce as well.)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
crushed red pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Begin by cutting the spaghetti squash in half and cooking it for about 45-60 minutes on a baking sheet or foil (sliced side down). You can do this ahead of time (I did).
Once your squash is cooked, scrape out the “spaghetti” with a fork. If it’s cooked through, it should be easy to get the spaghetti out. Set it aside.
In a small bowl, combine juice from one lime, almond butter, fish sauce, soy sauce/coconut aminos, crushed red pepper, and a dash of salt. Set it aside.
In a large pan, heat sesame oil and then add green onions, garlic, and shrimp. Stir continuously for about five minutes.
Whisk eggs in a small bowl and then add to the pan. Keep stirring so the eggs don’t set!
Once the eggs start to solidify, add spaghetti squash and the sauce from the small bowl.
Keep stirring for another five minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Season with more salt and crushed red pepper to taste.
Garnish with crushed macadamias and cilantro.
This is a crappy phone pic, but trust me: it’s DELICIOUS and tastes as good or better than any Pad Thai I’ve had!
I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this recipe. I originally bought the ingredients to make a soup, but I just didn’t feel like another tomato-based soup since I had already been eating Creamy Chicken Tomato soup all week.
I decided to take the ingredients and make a saute instead, and I’m glad I did! This recipe turned out much more awesome than anticipated.
You’ll need (makes 4-6 servings):
~1-2 pounds pre-cooked spicy (or non-spicy, if you don’t like spice) sausage. I used turkey kielbasa from Trader Joe’s.
1 bunch kale
1 small onion, roughly chopped
14-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4-5 pieces bacon
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
Place bacon in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until desired crispiness is achieved!
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, but leave the remaining grease.
Add onion and saute for a few minutes, then add kale.
Once the kale cooks down, add sausage and tomato.
Crumble bacon and add it to the pan.
Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (for added spice!) to taste.
For whatever reason, this flavor combination was totally great: smoky, spicy, fire-roasted — a lovely and warm fall dish.
Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!
Healthista Whole30 Week Four: Recipes + Grocery List
One more week! That’s NOTHING. You can do anything for seven (now six!) days, right? Right. So for those of you playing along at home, this is the last week of the Healthista Whole30. Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!
I have some delish recipes of my sleeve, but in case you missed them, here are the recipes/grocery lists from previous weeks:
What to Expect When You're on the Last Week of Whole30!
T-7 days until this Whole30 thing is complete. If you’ve been following along for the past three weeks, I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me an email or comment on this post and let me know how things have been going. And find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!
Your meal plan and grocery list for this last week will be posted tomorrow morning, but until then, I wanted to give you some tips about how to really round out your Whole30 experience. Some things to think about over the next week or so:
Pay attention to the source of your food. If you haven’t been paying attention to where your meat/eggs/etc. come from, start paying attention. Try to find places to get local, pastured animal products if possible.
Think about sleep. To get the full Whole30 experience, you have to make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. Make sure your room is COMPLETELY dark, and try to turn off the computer/TV/anything with a blue light at least an hour before you plan to go to bed.
Explore new spices. Now is absolutely the time to make sure your spice collection is fully stocked! Experiment with unique spices by ordering samples from sites like Atlantic Spice Company (totally not being paid to promote them, but I’ve ordered their stuff in the past and like it!).
Get some at-home/no-equipment workouts in your arsenal. It’s great to have a few simple workouts memorized so you can do them when your options are limited. A few ideas: 10 rounds of 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 10 squats; 4 rounds of sprint 400m + 25 pushups; burpee/situp ladder to 10 reps (1 burpee, 1 situp, 2 burpees, 2 situps, 3 burpees, 3 situps, etc.); 21-15-9 reps air squats/pushups. You get the idea!
Start thinking about how you want your meals to look AFTER the Whole30. The Hartwigs recommend adding one banned food group at a time (e.g., dairy for the first four days but none of the other Whole30-forbidden foods). You can use that method if you want, but you may want to structure your diet differently. Just START thinking about it now — you can finalize plans later!
For those of you that have been Whole30ing along with me, what’s next for you?
Oh heyyyyy, day 16! How you doin’? We’re doin’ just fine. Juuustttt fine. Today, I want to talk about Sex With Your Pants On foods. Please, allow me to explain.
The Hartwigs discourage re-creating your favorite junk foods so they’re Whole30 compliant. They call this “SWYPO” (Sex With Your Pants On) because, as they say, “It’s good… but it’s not that good. You can tell yourself it’s okay, it’s still pretty good, you’re totally satisfied… but that’s kind of a lie. Because you know exactly how good pants-less sex feels.”
It’s difficult for some people to understand why these foods might be not such a great idea on the Whole30. I’m pretty on board with their rationale, which is this:
Sad Paleo-ified versions of amazing foods like pizza, pancakes, ice cream, etc., are just that: sad. Why waste your time eating a lesser version of a great food? You can pretend to be satisfied eating that food, but the truth is, nothing can satisfy you like the real deal.
SWYPO foods are a gateway drug. When you eat Paleo pancakes, you’re inevitably going to crave the real thing eventually. Why set yourself up for failure?
Eating sweet foods can still promote an unhealthy psychological/hormonal reaction, even if you’re using “approved” foods to sweeten. Sweet foods are sweet foods, and if you eat a Paleo dessert after your Whole30 dinner every night, you’re always going to crave dessert. You’ll never get out of the habit.
Some foods are okay to substitute: spaghetti squash for spaghetti, lettuce for a tortilla, etc., but think carefully about whether you’re just prolonging a long-time addiction by eating these foods.
But these are PALEO pancakes!
I understand these arguments for why SWYPO foods are a no-no, but I have a slightly different perspective:
SWYPO foods don’t make me feel like crap. When I make my banana pancakes with egg, banana, and coconut flour, they do taste enough like real pancakes, but they don’t make me feel like real pancakes (bloated, sluggish, etc.). That’s pretty awesome.
Paleo-fied junk food is still a lot better for you than regular junk food. It’s just a better choice, period. And sometimes, in the real world, we have to learn to make the better choice, not the perfect choice.
SWYPO foods promote learning how to modify recipes and getting better at cooking. I’m all in favor of people becoming more skilled in the kitchen!
But the bottom line is, during your Whole30, you should just stay as far away from all forms of junk food as you can, Whole30-compliant or not. It’s not hard to do for 30 days. After your 30 days, I encourage you to experiment with SWYPO foods as long as they don’t become aneed. They should still be considered a treat even after your Whole30. You can abstain from junk food for 30 days. You really can.
Whole30 Approved: Sweet Potato & Sausage Breakfast Pie
I was originally inspired by this recipe, but the idea of cooking eggs in the crock pot just weirded me out a little bit. Plus, I just love runny yolks. This breakfast pie is kinda like a deconstructed frittata, and I’m pretty sure I’m now obsessed with it. Thanks, PaleOMG. This ingredient combo is a complete and utter win.
You’ll need (makes 6-8 small servings or 4-6 large servings):
2-3 small sweet potatoes or 1 really big one, diced
1 lb ground pork breakfast sausages (watch the ingredient list! I discovered my local, pastured pork had evaporated cane juice in it. Whomp whomp.)
1 tbsp olive oil
Start cooking the sweet potato in olive oil over medium heat in a large pan.
Cook it for 3-5 minutes, then add the pork, breaking it up as it cooks. Cover the pan and cook until everything is 90% cooked (another 5-10 minutes).
Lower the heat to low-medium. Crack the eggs over the pot (as evenly spread out as possible).
Cook covered for another 5-10 minutes, or until the egg whites stop jiggling. Be careful not to overcook the eggs — they’ll continue cooking even after you turn off the heat, and you want the yolks to be runny!
THIS is why you want the yolks to be runny:
If you really can’t get behind runny yolks (you’re missing out, but I get it), you can actually turn this into a frittata by whisking the eggs together before pouring them into the pan. After the edges of the pan start to firm up, stick it in the oven at 350 for another ~15 minutes, or until the eggs are completely cooked.
I, for one, can’t wait to eat this throughout the week.
Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!
Healthista Whole30 Week Three: Recipes + Grocery List
Congrats! You’re just about halfway through the Healthista Whole30. I hope you’re hanging in there. I’ve had a couple snafus (finding out something had sugar in it after the fact, for one), but otherwise am having an awesome Whole30 experience. Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!
For those of you who’ve asked about if you can still join the Healthista Whole30 even if you didn’t start on Sept. 10, the answer is OF COURSE! Start whenever works for you, just make sure you get 30 days in. And these should help you out:
Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Pie. The recipe will be posted on Monday, but the ingredients are on the grocery list below.
Unsweetened applesauce swirled with almond butter or whole almonds. Have a hard-boiled egg on the side for extra protein if desired.
Crock-Pot Curry with Cabbage. I always forget about cabbage, but it’s a nice fall/winter veggie! This recipe is flexible in terms of protein and type of curry (I used beef and green curry), so feel free to experiment!
Fish + veggies: your choice! Similar to last week, pick any kind of fish that appeals to you or is affordable (shoot for wild-caught if possible), and pick your favorite veggie to eat on the side. I’m going with halibut and kale. I’ll probably make kale chips (no cheese) and just saute the halibut with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Snacks (if necessary)
Your favorite olives+ raw veggies
"Baked" apples with almond butter: cut an apple into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with almond butter if desired, and add cinnamon. Microwave for 1:30-2:00.
Week Three Grocery List (doesn’t include necessary dry spices, so check the recipes to make sure you have all that’s required!)
a dozen eggs
2-3 small sweet potatoes (or 1 large)
1 lb. ground pork breakfast sausage (check for sweeteners!)
fish of your choice (figure ~.5 lb per person)
side veggie of choice for possible roasting (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
unsweetened apple sauce
almond butter (make sure to get unsweetened)
1-2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, stew beef, etc. (whatever protein you’d like for the curry)
curry paste (red, green, yellow, etc.)
1 green peppers
1 red pepper
green onions (if desired for curry garnish)
1 large onion
2 cans coconut milk
olives (look for the fancy olive bar at your local grocery store if they have one!)
apples (Pink Lady or Honey Crisp are awesome for snacking)
We made it to Day 11! Almost halfway through and pretty painless, right?
I promised you all a post on working out during the Whole30, so here it is.
I believe that my workouts only benefit from a clean diet, but I also know that if you’re spending a lot of time and energy focused on overhauling your eating, spending energy on workouts isn’t feasible. That’s okay.
Just do one thing for me during these 30 days if nothing else: MOVE. Just move. I don’t care how you do it or where you do it. Just move. Walk to places you’d normally drive. Set the timer for 30 minutes and dance around your house. Do some power cleaning. Set a timer on your work computer that goes off every 30 minutes and take a 5 minute walk around the building, or up and down some stairs. It really doesn’t matter. You just have to move your own body weight around.
If you already work out regularly, go easy on yourself during the Whole30, especially if it’s a marked change in your diet. Don’t expect to beat any PRs, and go a little lighter in general if you feel low-energy. I make a point to eat more fruit or starchy veggies on workout days and I think it genuinely helps my performance. Definitely don’t eat too little. That will make your life harder in lots of ways.
As for me, I’ve been doing Crossfit throughout this Whole30 and the last. I know, I know, I’m totally drinking the Crossfit Kool-Aid like everyone else, but the reality is, I knew I’d love Crossfit before I tried it. It’s just my type of workout. You know I love shorter, intense boot camp-style workouts, and Crossfit is that x 10. So the fact that I dove head first into Crossfit doesn’t surprise me or anyone who knows me
Many people think Crossfit is just a dumb fad workout, and while that may be true, it’s also undeniably just a great form of exercise. Functional movement, intensity, community, etc., etc. All the cliches about Crossfit are true. My little Crossfit community is accepting, diverse, and not cult-like. And they’re uber-supportive of the Whole30 (a few even joined me!).
TL;DR: During the Whole30 (or just in general), practice moving your body in whatever ways you can manage. Try intense exercise if you want, and make sure to fuel yourself well.
Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!
Nice article/interview with Melissa Hartwig. My favorite Q&A:
It seems like there’s been quite a bit of backlash lately against the Paleo lifestyle. What do you say tothe critics?
If people started looking at the actual recommendations of ours and other Paleo programs—if we just told you what we ate, without sticking a label on it—I don’t think anyone would even blink. We eat a modest amount of high-quality meat, seafood, and eggs. We pay attention to where our food comes from, choosing animals responsibly raised in their natural environment and fed their natural diet. We eat lots of vegetables. Everyone knows vegetables are healthy! We eat fruit, especially when it’s fresh and in season. And we eat healthy fats, like avocado and olive oil. None of that sounds so crazy, does it?
We think it also comes down to education. Despite the fact that scientific research has proven that dietary intake of saturated fat does not cause heart disease, people are still afraid of a little bit of butter or a few eggs. This is changing, but slowly. It Starts With Food promotes these healthy eating concepts in a way that isn’t radical or threatening.