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Whole30: Results!

27 Mar

I did it! 30 days without sugar, dairy, grains, beans, or alcohol! And I feel…GREAT!

Here are the top five things I noticed throughout the process:

1. Snacking. Before the Whole30, I was snacking pretty much every hour, and was SO HUNGRY in between. Even with healthy meals and snacks, I just couldn’t stay full. It was especially difficult between breakfast and lunch. But during the Whole30, I didn’t need to snack between breakfast and lunch AT ALL (and this was noticeable almost immediately). I was sometimes able to wait until after 1:00pm for lunch! Being full = not being cranky or seriously crashing. And that was almost completely new to me. The only other time I’ve experienced something like this was when I was studying abroad in Costa Rica, eating local fruits, veggies, eggs and meat, and very few processed foods. Hmm…

2. Sleeping. Before–and for the first half of–my Whole30, I took a prescription-strength muscle relaxer every night. This is because, despite getting lots of sleep, I wasn’t feeling refreshed in the morning, AND my neck and shoulders would be so sore (painful to even touch lightly) for seemingly no reason at all. On the night of Day 9, I stopped taking the muscle relaxer and never looked back. I sleep soundly, wake up refreshed, and my muscles don’t ache!

3. Slimming Down. While this was not one of my goals, it certainly was a welcome byproduct! [Full disclosure: a lot of people combine Whole30 with an exercise plan. I did not. In fact, I worked out less than usual, but remained generally active.]

Before Whole30 my measurements were: 38″ bust; 32″ waist; 43″ hip (*insert catcall whistle here*). After, I’m at: 38″ bust; 31.5″ waist; 41.5″ hip

And I don’t know how much I weighed before I started (because I don’t typically weigh myself and forgot), but one week in, I weighed 152 pounds. I still weighed in at 152 on Day 30.

Not a huge difference by the numbers, but look at this:

I’m starting to wonder if I misread the scale the first time…

I’m putting slimming down at #3 because results 4 and 5 aren’t definite. But here they are anyway:

4. Energy. My fatigue is pretty cyclical, so it’s hard to tell if the Whole30 worked for me in terms of energy. But I will say that usually, over the course of a month, I have way more “down” days than I did over the course of my Whole30. Is it placebo? Maybe. But does it matter, if it works?

5. Skin. Like my fatigue, my skin issues are cyclical (if you know what I mean). But, said issues have been much more mild this time around and it seems like my skin is brighter.

All great results! Now it’s time to start the reintroduction and see what happens. Coming soon: FAQs.


Whole30 Halfway: On Treats

10 Mar

Originally posted to my family blog, here’s the latest on my Whole30.

Baltikahn Blogikahn

I’m halfway through my Whole30 and I feel great. But I’m not posting to talk about my results (so far) because it’s still too early to really tell what I’ve learned or what has changed.

I want to talk about bad days. And I don’t mean bad days on the Whole30, I mean actual bad days that just happen to occur while doing a Whole30.

Last week was really hard for me. There were little things that added up to put me in a foul mood: I lost a special ring, my car wouldn’t start, I had a very frustrating meeting, I overextended myself and was totally exhausted. I mean, I watched the last 10 minutes of an episode of Undercover Bosses and cried. I didn’t even get to see any character development!

While winding down at home each night, I wanted–felt like I NEEDED–a treat. Lots of treats. Ice…

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I’m tired. Let’s do a Whole30!

28 Feb

Those of you closest to me know that I’ve been struggling with fatigue for a while (now everybody knows!!!). Docs found a Vitamin D deficiency (twice), and taking D every day has been helpful, but most days, I still don’t feel like my usual (or is it old?) self .

Since (other than the D-ficiency) docs are stumped, I decided to take matters into my own hands and try something new. It’s a program called the Whole30, and it’s designed to be a sort of cleanse/lifestyle change that brings awareness to how the things you put in your body affect you. It’s developed by Whole9, “a community focused on health, fitness, balance and sanity, all built on a foundation of real food and healthy nutritional habits.”

Here’s Whole9’s elevator pitch:

We eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. We choose foods that were raised, fed and grown naturally, and foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.

This is not a “diet” – we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat animals and a significant amount of plants.

Eating like this has helped us to look, feel, live and perform our best, and reduces our risk for a variety of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.

Doing a Whole30 is the best way to get started. They call it a short-term nutritional reset. When I tell people that I’m doing one and that it means I won’t be eating grains, dairy, added sugars, legumes (what?!), or drinking alcohol for 30 DAYS, most people think I’m crazy.

But what I think is crazy is how inexplicably tired I’ve been.

I know it’s not sustainable. It’s not a Whole365. But it will be enlightening to see how my body responds to the absence of certain foods, as well as their reintroduction (one at a time, if I can) after 30 days.

Anyway. I’m only on Day 4, so I don’t know if it will work. But I think it will. I have to hope it will. 

And if the testimonials are true (and I know some are, because I have friends who have done it), then I don’t think it’s crazy to expect great things. I’ll definitely follow this up with a recap when I’m done, and maybe even check in along the way.

Wish me luck!

*Note: This was originally posted on my family blog.

Solicited Advice

26 Feb

Sorry I’ve been MIA! Work and other obligations have been CRAZY.

Anyway! Moving on.

relationship advice expert e jean

Gregg Delman |

I absolutely love advice columns. I devoured Dear Abby and Ask Ann Landers in the paper when I was younger, and I even have a few Miss Manners books that I like to flip through every once in a while. There’s something so refreshing about a woman who just tells it like it is. (And hearing about other folks’ problems is fascinating, too.)

Well, the latest Elle issue came in the mail the other day, and it reminded me that I really wanted to post one of the Ask E. Jean questions from an earlier issue here. E. Jean Carroll is, in a word: fabulous. I feel like her advice is always spot-on and so matter-of-fact.

Here’s the one I wanted to share:

Dear E. Jean: I adore my boyfriend of six years. He’s intelligent, accomplished, emotionally mature, kind, loving, and funny. But: He’s fat. When we first started dating, he was a very hot, very muscular mountaineering guide. Now he’s a lawyer, and most of the muscle has turned into fat. When he gets home from work, he sits on the couch, drinking beer and watching bad TV. He’ll do that for an entire weekend if I don’t persuade him to get out and do things. Our sex life has almost always been thrilling, but the laziness and fatness are enormous turnoffs.

I’m an athlete and go to the gym at 5 A.M. every day before my job (which we agree is even more demanding than his). Though I’m still madly in love with him, I find myself looking at in-shape men. Superficial, I realize! I drop hints, and it never goes well. Is there a way to tell him to shape up? I work hard to stay sexy; shouldn’t he? I don’t want to make him feel bad, but he can’t let himself go indefinitely! —My Sexy Man’s Gone to Seed

Gone, My Gorgon: Yes. He can. And why not? If you’re turned off by an “intelligent, accomplished, emotionally mature, kind, loving, and funny” fat dude, give him to Auntie Eeee. And God help you if you ever grow old, gain a pound, get a wrinkle, or your bottom sags.

I love you, Miss Gone, but please, let’s have no more of this revolting, body-hating hogwash! I’m sick, sick, sick of women beating up on tubby guys. The chap’s fat as a porpoise? Fine! Take him as he is! Love him for himself! Grant him the freedom to live as he wants. And when you’re disgusted by anything about his body, turn to yourself and examine your own flaws. You’ll soon forget his.

As for “dropping hints,” Miss Gone? Here’s a hint: According to recent research, “overweight” or “moderately obese” people may live longer than those of “normal weight”! In fact, a 2007 Canadian study found that those who were overweight had the “lowest chance of dying from any cause.” (See the New York Times article “In ‘Obesity Paradox,’ Thinner May Mean Sicker.” Whipsawed scientists are scrambling to examine “long-held assumptions about the association between body fat and disease.”)

I’ve looked you up—you do have an awesome career—and you are sleek and supple as an otter, but the stats say your big boyfriend may outlive you.

Now, about you getting up “every day at 5 A.M. to get to the gym.” Is this wise? Why don’t you hire a male trainer? Nothing special, just your run-of-the-mill bloke with buttocks that look like they’ve been blown up with a bicycle pump and pectorals that jut out like IKEA shelves. Schedule this professional for twice-weekly personal workouts in your living room. Trust me: Your guy won’t “sit on the couch.”

P.S. And just to put things into perspective, read this next letter.

Let’s be kinder to each other, shall we?

Let’s Get Physical (Therapy)

9 Jan


I’ve been pretty active my whole life. I started dancing when I was three, and in adulthood I took up yoga and running. And I’ve had injuries before, but never anything a little rest, ice, compression, and elevation couldn’t fix. But last month, after a run that wasn’t particularly demanding, I had some serious knee pain. I went to an orthopedist who found patellar tendonitis (no big deal, just some irritation and inflammation) and prescribed some physical therapy.

Hoo-boy! PT was serious! And so enlightening! I learned all kinds of things about my body and my habits just from my first one-hour session. I learned that my left knee trouble stems from issues with my right hip, making my left leg do wonky things to compensate. I learned that when I run, my knees are too close together and that I don’t have enough follow-through towards the end of the stride (my legs don’t extend far back enough). And more. So, I’ve got some exercises that mainly focus on strengthening my right hip so that the left side of my body doesn’t have to work quite as hard (among other things).

As I was learning about my body and the things I can do to “fix” it (some issues are anatomical and not fixable, but there are things I can do to work with I’ve got), I couldn’t help but think that such a session must be worthwhile for everybody. I would have loved an evaluation like this BEFORE I started running, instead of waiting to get injured. Regardless, I’m excited to get back on track with my workouts, bringing a new awareness of my body and movements.

Have you ever been to PT? Do you have any anatomical issues or maybe some bad habits that you’re aware of and constantly working on?

5-Minute Morning Workout

29 Nov

Repeat sequence as time allows!

I’ve added something new to my morning routine: a quick 5-minute workout to do while my kettle heats up my water. I put the guide on my fridge so that I see it every morning (and anytime I’m in the kitchen, really).

30×30 #20-24: Thanksgiving

25 Nov

Happy Holidays!

I was away visiting my husband’s family for (American) Thanksgiving last week. Very few pictures were taken, and none of them were outfit shots, so I figured I’d just show you what I packed:

+ tights (for the dress)

+ workout wear (shoes, pants, shirt)

+ lounge wear (pajamas pants, shirt, sweatshirt)

I did buy one item of clothing, but it’s a jacket for running from Moving Comfort, my absolute favorite lady sportswear brand out there: