Day 30 + Zoodle Love + Whole9 Factors

Happy DAY 30 y’all – we made it! Well – I have two more meals for the day and THEN I will have made it. Two #whole30s down and with this one, significant lifestyle changes will come with. Last year after I finished, I had PLANNED on easing my way back into eating regular foods – so I could see how my body reacted. I think I tried it for a day and then I had a pizza and beer binge. I felt terrible after – but it just tasted SO GOOD. For the remainder of the week I plan on continuing down this #whole30 journey. I’ve made my food for the week so I don’t really want to leave that delicious food to waste. I’ve got a couple bowls of The Best Chicken Zucchini Noodle Soup, Ever sitting in my fridge just WAITING to be devoured – plus another three zucchinis just WAITING to be zoodled. Plus, this month Ali challenged her readers to a #30DaysInspiralized challenge – and I plan to do as much spiralizing as I can over the next 30 days, and beyond. (Why can’t spiralize be entered into the dictionary yet?? I’m tired of Microsoft Word telling me it isn’t a word when it CLEARLY IS.)

On #foodprepsunday I did my usual mass hardboiled egg making and then decided to double up on #inspiralized recipes – making the chicken zucchini soup (see recipe above) and for dinner I whipped up some Hearty & Healthy Beef Stew with Zucchini Noodles. I omitted the Worcestershire sauce as it is not #whole30 compliant, but other than that – delish. Mine wasn’t as “stewy” as Ali’s and I ended up spilling broth EVERYWHERE (more than once) but still – a major hit. I also learned a very important lesson during this process: be sure you cut down your zoodles after you’ve spiralized them. They literally come out in one long ribbon of zucchini goodness – and it makes it hella difficult to eat. Did we still eat it? Of course. I just steered clear of using my manners and ate it like an animal. I was starving, it was delicious, and no one was judging me (I don’t think.)

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After discussions this weekend of keeping (mostly) on track with our clean eating habits, I visited the Whole30 website to read up on what people do AFTER they’ve completed their 30 days. From there I did some reading up on the Whole9. Something different than #whole30 – but still very, if not MORE, important. The Whole9 focuses more on lifestyle than JUST your eating habits. Melissa and Dallas Hartwig (authors of It Starts with Food and founders of the Whole30 and Whole9) focus on 9 factors (Whole 9 – get it?) that they believe, when properly balanced, will lead to a “healthy, vibrant, balanced life.” Ummm you got it. Tell me MORE. A community built with its focus on health, fitness, balance and sanity is pulling at my brain telling me that THIS is what I want to do next. What I NEED to do. These nine factors (nutrition, sleep, healthy movement, fun and play, stress management, socialization, natural environment, personal growth and temperance) are about creating balance in your life. You can eat healthy and exercise all you want – but just think of everything you’re leaving out. That was one thing that was discussed during this year’s #whole30 experience. We were HELLA anti-social. If I couldn’t have a drink, I didn’t want to go out to dinner with my friends. If I had to network with other young professionals and couldn’t have any snacks – there was no way in hell I was going. I had a couple choices to meet friends out – and just didn’t. I’d go to yoga because I didn’t have to talk to anyone for more than a couple minutes before or after class, and then I’d go home and cuddle up with Toby, my book, and whatever meal of sweet potatoes or eggs I had planned for the night. That just worked for me. But for the long term – I don’t think it will. I miss my friends when we can’t gather over food or drinks – but balancing out friend time, me time, and other time is something I need to work on and will continue to work on.

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I finished up my 20 classes last week for our 20/30 challenge. I was pumped about it – especially because last year I finished 19 classes. Like – WHO DOES THAT. I’ve surpassed 20 classes now, with a few more days left – but I still want to continue going. My shoulders are toning up from a thousand downward dogs in the last month, and my waist is slimming down. My yoga booty is tightening up and I’m getting more comfortable being upside down. I say this every time I go through one of these challenges – but I feel SO GOOD while I’m practicing more often that I always tell myself to KEEP doing it so often so I keep feeling that good. I also don’t want to overdo it. This week my wrists are a little sore so I’m backing off – probably a combination of volleyball and yoga. I’m honoring my body by not practicing. I could go balls to the wall and get in 30+ classes (sidenote: a guy in the barre class I went to over the weekend – I’m also still sore from it – was taking his 43rd class. My body says no to that) in – or I could hold off and just reap the goodness for how I feel. I got my gold star, I don’t need to overdo it and hurt myself just so people can congratulate me on going above and beyond.

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I know I won’t be perfect this weekend – I just won’t. But knowing the ratio of what I eat to how much I move, and to how it makes me feel (do I feel guilty for eating that piece of pizza/brownie/beer or not) will help me move into a more balanced and healthy life that I want for myself moving forward.

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