Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Whole Living Cleanse - Week 3


Read week 1 and 2 first if you care...

I can honestly say I'm super proud of myself for sticking with this cleanse for 21 straight days! Week 3 was definitely the hardest even though I could eat the most foods (addition of eggs and gluten free grains).  I felt like I was more hungry this week than any of the other weeks, but I powered through and filled up with hummus, sunflower seed butter, avocado, grains and eggs!

To recap week 3:

WHAT have I been eating:

Breakfast - every single day two eggs with roasted potatoes and some watermelon...pretty sure I can never get old of this combo and I look forward to it every morning.

Snacks - every morning snack consists of banana with sunflower seed butter and most afternoon snacks are veggies with homemade black bean hummus.

Lunch - dinner leftovers or a tuna salad with avocado and whatever veggies I have on hand. I smash the avocado in with the tuna in place of mayo, delicious!

Dinner - dinner has been the most fun since I got to work with grains this week but the week started off with a visit from the lovely Becky where I wowed her with my cooking skills (not really but apparently she doesn't get out much...hehe) and made this Mexican Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Cream that I already told you all to go make right now, so do it!  It is super fast, even when your spaghetti squash rolls out of the oven and topples your sauté pan full of veggies on to the kitchen floor and you have to start all over again...true story!
The first round was red and green peppers...THANK goodness I had two extra peppers!
Leftovers got topped with salmon and a side of sautéed green beans.

My other creation for the week was the Lemony Quinoa with Shrimp and Sautéed Greens!

HOW I've been feeling:

I honestly felt like I was hungry ALL THE TIME.  I was definitely eating a lot and not depriving myself of food at any given time but just never felt satisfied.  Adding grains helped a bit but I can't help but think my body is craving some major protein from MEAT :).  I'm all for protein from beans and grains like quinoa but my body doesn't really love too many beans...if ya know what I mean ;).  I am looking forward to adding back some chicken and red meat in my life this week.


There were quite a few walks with one super intense Tabata class thrown in.  No real exercise plan still but just doing what I feel like.  On Friday I busted out this workout I recently pinned and it took just under 30 minutes and got me sweating just enough.
From Peanut Butter Fingers blog
So, now that I'm done with this 21 days of "cleansing" what is next?  Well, I'm not entirely sure but I do know I want to try and avoid caffeine, added sugar and most dairy for a while to see how long I can keep up this amazing SKINNY feeling.  I'll be back soon with my final thoughts about this plan and what's next for me in the exercise arena (I still need to figure that out!).

QUESTION:  What healthy habits did you try that have stuck around with you?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Recipe: Lemony Quinoa with Shrimp and Sautéed Greens

I really didn't know how to title this recipe, but I wanted to try and capture all the yummiest features of it so there you have it..."Lemony Quinoa with Shrimp and Sautéed Greens".

This recipe pretty much combines all the great things I can eat during week 3 of the Whole Living cleanse including quinoa, shrimp and of course veggies.  I'm not usually a fan of using multiple pots and pans and I haven't mastered the whole cook the quinoa with everything else thing so this is what you get for now, if you have any ideas to make it easter or faster let me know!

Lemony Quinoa with Shrimp and Sautéed Greens
Serves: 4 as an entree probably 6-8 as a side

1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (you can use water)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or whatever oil you desire)
1 diced red bell pepper or whatever pepper you have
1/2 diced yellow onion
1-2 garlic cloves chopped
1 lemon
1/2lb frozen cooked shrimp (like the amazing bags with tails off from trader joes)
1/2 bag or a few handfuls of cooking greens (like the Southern Greens Blend from trader joes)
Scallions (for garnish)

1. Rinse that quinoa good. Evidently there is a nasty tasting outer coating on this grain so rinse well!
2. Bring veggie broth and quinoa to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover until all liquid is absorbed, usually 15 minutes
3. Meanwhile, take a large sauté pan and heat up some coconut oil (olive oil would work too)
4. Add your garlic and sauté for a minute
5. Add onion and pepper and sauté until soft (about 5 minutes)
6. Add those greens and mix and mix until they wilt like crazy (you may need to add more oil if things are drying out)
7. Add your frozen shrimp to the mixture so they can defrost
8. Once quinoa is cooked add the zest and juice of one lemon
9. Then add your veggie shrimp mixture
10. Add salt and pepper to taste
11. EAT IT!

Great TJ's staples!
Wilted greens with shrimp
I seriously hit a home run with this recipe and I can't wait to devour the rest of the leftovers.  The lemon flavor isn't too strong so if you really like lemon I would recommend squeezing a wedge over your bowl before you eat.  I'm sure some spices could be added to this for a little more flavor but I didn't have time to experiment with it.

In other news, it appears as though the last days of summer are officially upon us so Stacey and I went out and enjoyed it yesterday afternoon.
why are dogs so bad at self portraits!
Question: Have you tried quinoa before? What is your favorite grain/pasta to cook with?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tabata Tuesday

Have you all heard of a Tabata workout?  I've read about it quite a bit, especially on Blonde Ponytail, but have never done it until last night.  My gym recently started a bunch of new classes that so far have all been awesome and this class is no exception.  It is called "Tabata in no time" and lasts 45 minutes which is PLENTY!

SIDE NOTE: There is has been little to no running going on my life right now and I'm fine with that since I'm having way more fun taking fun gym classes and going for long park walks with my dog instead...maybe I'll find my running mojo again soon...maybe not ;)

What the heck is Tabata you ask?  I found this explanation and more on this site:
"Tabata" is the name of a particular type of workout program that provides similar health benefits to that of cardio workouts, but Tabata has a bit more spice.  Instead of hours upon hours of exercise, Tabata can be completed in 4 minutes.  Tabata falls under the category of high intensity training or high intensity interval training."
I would add that Tabata also incorporates ALOT of strength and the emphasis is not just on cardio!  Check out the video below for an example.

A typical workout consist of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest.  It seems like the sequences can vary but last night we would do 1 exercise for 20 seconds, rest 10, do another exercise for 20 seconds, then rest and repeat for a total of 4 rounds.  We did two 4 round circuits for a total of 8 minutes and then rested for 3 minutes.

For 45+ minutes we did LOTS of jumping, lots of planking, lots of push presses with a barbell and lots of mountain climbers. It left me in a sweaty pool and during our "extra" 2 minute plank challenge at the end the instructor commented on how she liked my "sweat pool" pouring off my face.

One of the circuits during last nights class was:
  • 20 seconds of pushups, 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds plank dumbbell row on the right, 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds of pushups, 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds plank dumbbell row on the left, 10 seconds rest
That circuit was killer and I think we did it 2 times through although my mind is a bit fuzzy from all the intensity.

I honestly have not felt that drained after a fitness class or run in a long time and I loved it.  My shoulders and legs were on fire immediately after class and they feel kind of like jello today...I will be back each and every week for more of this class for sure!

I came home and immediately fueled up with this goodness:
Green beans with roasted salmon on top of a bed of spaghetti squash with avocado sauce!
That spaghetti squash was left over from a recipe I made the night before that was sooo easy and super delicious called Mexican Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Avocado Spread.  You should make it this week!

Question: Have you tried Tabata?  Do you want to now?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Whole Living Cleanse - Week 2

Sorry for being somewhat silent on the blog lately. I've been trying to take this time during the cleanse to just relax and enjoy some time alone and it has been glorious!  I'm currently more than halfway through this 21 day plan (Week 1 recap here) and I'm still feeling good.  Let's recap quickly shall we?

WHAT have I been eating:

Much more this week since I get to add legumes and seafood.  Salmon never tasted to good and being able to eat hummus has helped fill me up much quicker!  Breakfast has still been a smoothie and lunches have mostly been salads.

Salmon with avocado salsa and steamed broccoli
Roasted chickpeas that you should go make RIGHT NOW
I am not ashamed to say I ate the whole batch of chickpeas in one day and I have another batch in the oven right now.  This week also came with some temptation in the form of FAIR FOOD.  Normally I would indulge is all fair offerings like I did during my recent trip to Minnesota but I just packed lots of good food (including the entire batch of roasted chickpeas) and managed to take in all the smells without eating.
What the Puyallup Fair is MOST famous for...scones complete with jam and butter!
HOW I've been feeling:

Pretty awesome actually.  Before doing this cleanse I would normally start feeling sluggish and bloated in the mid afternoon and just never felt "normal".  Week 2 has definitely brought back my energy and I feel more balanced...not sure how to describe it but it feels pretty good!

The cravings during week 2 were definitely much much stronger and I've found myself wanting a piece of bread, a pumpkin spice latte, some cheese, a piece of chocolate, etc. etc.!  But I have resisted and found other ways to curb salty and sweet cravings. 

All my friends have been really supportive of the cleanse when I tell them about it and they are usually really curious about it and how I'm feeling. I even went to a bachelorette party this weekend and one of the attendees made all the food and made TONS of stuff I could eat including a bean salad, hummus, shrimp and even an avocado/cucumber gazpacho!


Yes, my energy has returned so I made it to the gym a couple times and even attending the grand opening of the Bellevue Flywheel studio for a free spin with a couple of my flygirls, Stacie and Rebecca. This was the second class we all attended together (we missed you Sarah!) and we all wish we were rich and could go to Flywheel everyday.
Week 3 brings in eggs and gluten free grains so the meal options are pretty endless.  My partner in crime for this cleanse and I have already been talking about what our first meal after the cleanse is going to be.  Some combo of pizza, froyo, pumpkin spice lattes, cookies...

Question: What would you crave the MOST being on a cleanse or food restriction diet of any kind?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Whole Living Cleanse - Week 1

As I type this I'm currently in the middle of day 4 of the 2012 Whole Living Action Plan and I'm still alive!  Yes I've been a little hungry, yes I've craved bread, cheese, wine, chocolate, coffee, you name it...but I've resisted and I feel pretty darn good.

If you all don't want to hear about what I've eaten, how I've felt, blah blah blah come back in a few weeks when maybe I'll figure out what I'm doing next that has to do with running :).

WHAT I've been eating:

Actually, lots of things!  One of the things I liked most about this plan is it doesn't restrict you to a certain number of meals, calories, or quantities at each meal.  For week 1 you are supposed to stick to fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and oils. I've gotten pretty creative with making things that are actually pretty filling!

Breakfast: A smoothie every morning which usually consists of frozen fruit, orange juice and spinach.  This is the hardest part from me because I really crave something savory for breakfast so I'm already looking forward to week 3 when I can add back my true breakfast love...EGGS!

Snacks: I've been snacking on plenty of raw fruits and veggies but more importantly trying to incorporate sunflower seed butter when at all possible...because it's delicious and fattening!  I made this minty pea dip from the Whole Living website (shown below) but it is super gross and NOT in any way shape or form a substitute for hummus or good 'ol ranch dressing...good thing I can make hummus in week 2!

Coconut water tastes like a super sweet treat!
Lunch: A big salad every single day incorporating avocado and lemon juice always and then whatever other veggies I have on hand.  

Dinner: I made a huge batch of roasted potatoes and broccoli at the beginning of the week that has been feeding me every night since.  I tossed it with a lemon tahini dressing similar to the one here and it is super satisfying.  I have some grand plans for sweet potato fries with an avocado dipping sauce for tonight.

HOW I've been feeling:

Overall, pretty blah actually.  Coming off of caffeine and added sugar has me feeling super foggy and I generally have low energy every day.  I've been getting 10+ hours of glorious sleep and trying to keep my eyes open at work every day.  I know this will turn around after my body realizes it doesn't need caffeine and sugar to function, but for now I'm basically a walking zombie.

a google search for "caffeine zombie" actually produced a lot more results than I thought :)

In terms of my stomach, well sorry for TMI coming up but eating tons of veggies does some pretty crazy things down there.  Let's just say I definitely feel like I'm "cleansing" my system daily with multiple trips to the bathroom and I'm sure glad I live alone at night when things seem to really catch up with me.

I'm looking forward to the amazing feeling that people always testify having during and after a cleanse!


Not much exercising has been going on mainly due to my lack of energy but I have gotten outside for at least a nice long walk with the pup every day.  I attempted a Greenlake run with a friend on Wednesday and made it about 2 miles before my stomach disagreed with running.  Thursday was  a little better and I ended up covering almost 4 miles during the latest Road Runner Adventure Run.

I'm totally ok with taking it easy and just focusing on the cleanse for now but I am looking forward to adding more protein next week and hopefully hitting the gym a little more!

Cheers to the weekend...everyone have a drink for me!

Question: Have you ever tried to give up caffeine or sugar for any amount of time?  Did you suffer like me? :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

So I'm Doing a Cleanse

I debated whether I wanted to share this latest venture with my blog friends but when I thought about all the encouragement I get from all of you on a daily basis through the blog, twitter, texts, etc I thought why not!

Now, this is NOT some juice only, no eating, or eating weird food type of cleanse.  It is actually a whole foods cleanse put out originally by Whole Living magazine in the beginning of this year.  I like it because you can actually eat as much as you want, but are just restricted by what types of foods you can eat.  The plan is broken up into 3 weeks with a bonus 4th week, which I will NOT be doing :).   My good friend, Rachel, asked me to join her so we could help keep each other accountable, eat meals together, and complain about how we really really want a piece of bread, a cup of coffee, or some chocolate!
NOPE...can't have this :)
I'm hoping that I'll come away with some better eating habits and kick my caffeine and sugar addictions to the curb.  As I type this I'm currently on day 1 of NO caffeine (I've been weaning myself off slowly) and I'm trying really hard to ignore the headache gaining strength in my brain! UPDATE: I caved and took some tylenol with caffeine and drank a diet Coke...oopsies!

Anyways, here is what the 3 weeks looks like and how I plan to try and stay full and not craving everything I can't eat :)

WEEK 1 - Fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds, oils

  • Basically NO dairy, meat, grains, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, etc
  • I expect to eat a TON of salads
  • Smoothies for breakfast
  • Sweet potatoes, avocados, olive oil and seeds to help fill me up 
  • Roasted veggies maybe a soup for dinners
  • Planning on making sunflower seed butter my best friend :)
I imagine this week will be the hardest since there is really no protein in any of these foods and I'm a protein LOVER! I'm going to keep it easy on the exercise this week since I won't be fueled properly for it and just try to relax a little...something I'm not usually very good at.

WEEK 2 - Adding seafood and legumes

  • Can now eat beans, tofu, and all seafood...this should make things easier!
  • I love salmon so I'm certain I'll be eating lots of this and shrimp!
  • Hopefully my cravings for caffeine will be gone so I can enjoy the cleanse a little more, wishful thinking?
  • I have some social engagements during this week/weekend so that should make it interesting to figure out how to navigate that (I want to try and stick to this plan 100% as much as humanly possible without becoming a hermit for 21 days!)
WEEK 3 - Adding gluten free grains and EGGS!
  • Add grains like quinoa and rice.  Still no pasta and bread :(.  
  • My regular breakfast of eggs is back!! 
  • The possibilities are endless now and I should be able to make pretty substantial meals at this point.
  • Kind of hoping I maintain this sort of eating most of the time after this is all over
Do I expect to never have caffeine, sugar or alcohol after these 3 weeks?  HECK NO!  Although, I would like to try and not drink coffee for as long as possible but I plan on enjoying a nice big glass of wine to celebrate the end of this whole thing :).

I'm starting on Tuesday...wish me luck and stay tuned to see if I survive!  

Question: Any of you ever done any sort of "cleanse" or eating challenge?